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. Bookstore ink stamp on front free endpaper, some mild foxing to preliminaries and edges of the text block, a near fine copy in near fine dust jacket with touch of rubbing to corners and fingernail-sized chip from upper spine end at rear spine fold. A nice copy of a book difficult to locate in decent condition. (#127320).
"FIRST PUBLISHED 1955" on copyright page.