BRAIN WAVE. Melbourne, London, Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd, . Octavo, boards. First British (and first hardcover) edition. "BRAIN WAVE, perhaps his most famous single novel, remains very nearly his finest. Its premise is simple: for millions of years the part of the galaxy containing our solar system has been moving through a vast force field whose effect has been to inhibit "certain electromagnetic and electrochemical processes", and thus certain neuronic functions; it is a concept Vernor Vinge would exploit and expand in his A FIRE UPON THE DEEP (1992). When Earth escapes the inhibiting field, synapse-speed immediately increases, causing a rise in intelligence; after the book has traced various absorbing consequences of this transformation, a transfigured humanity reaches for the stars, leaving behind (it is a conclusion evocative of Clifford D Simak at his best) former mental defectives and bright animals to inherit the planet." - John Clute, SFE (online). Anatomy of Wonder (2004) II-22. Survey of Science Fiction Literature I, pp. 242-6. A fine copy in bright, very good dust jacket with shelf wear at spine ends and corner tips with shallow loss at upper spine end and upper front corner tip, 18 mm closed tear at top edge of rear panel, some partial light internal age-darkening to spine panel and flap folds (no show through), and some soiling to rear panel. Overall, an attractive copy of a book that is quite scarce in superior condition. (#103761).
"FIRST PUBLISHED 1955" on copyright page.