Monday, May 26, 2014

What price Genius?

Today I get to welcome author Dustin Grinnell to my blog. His novel The Genius Dilemma is described as a fast-paced, multi-protagonist novel for science lovers and readers of thriller and action/adventures... a group which certainly includes me. Fans of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton will enjoy the novel for its "this-could-happen-tomorrow" high-concept premise, and realistic portrayal of scientists and their breakthrough technologies, such as the book's smart drug, Trillium.But what is genius, and what is it's price.

Over to you Dustin, and welcome to my blog:





The Price of Genius
“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact”
– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The philosopher Immanuel Kant defined genius as exemplary achievement in a particular field of study. “Geniuses”, Kant claimed, were individuals who produced field-advancing works and gained admiration from experts in their domain. This definition evolved in the 1920’s as intelligence tests emerged. The psychologist Lewis Terman created the first intelligence test, which measured one’s intelligence quotient, or IQ. Those who scored in the top one percent—a score of 140 or higher—were considered geniuses. It has been estimated that many renowned scientists scored above the genius threshold such as Charles Darwin who was believed to have had an IQ in the 140s as well as Isaac Newton in the 160s. The mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal had the highest recorded IQ, somewhere in the 180s.

What if there was a drug, so powerful that it could create a genius? While you think about that, consider the fact that most psychologists now believe that creative “geniuses” such as Emily Dickinson, Tchaikovsky, Van Gogh and T.S. Elliot likely suffered from mental illnesses. It’s possible that the poet William Blake, who claimed that inspirations for his writing came to him through visiting spirits, suffered from schizophrenia. Nikola Tesla, the inventor of alternating current, suffered from hallucinations and columbiphilia, or pigeon-love, as well as triphilia, an obsession with the number three.

If you were offered a drug that could enhance your intelligence exponentially, what would you do? The remarkable human brain gives us the power to create beautiful pieces of literature, architectural wonders and extraordinary pieces of music. But with each grand creation, there are examples of horrible nightmares. For every Picasso, there is a Hitler. This three-pound organ, it seems, has the capacity to both profoundly reward and deeply harm the human race. 

That's certainly food for thought, fodder for dilemmae, and concept for a fascinating novel I should think. Thank you Dustin, and my best wishes for the novel--my best hopes that we solve the problem before we create the geniuses too.

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Dustin Grinnell, author of The Genius Dilemma, is a science writer for a biomedical research institute in Cambridge, MA. His travel essays and articles have appeared in such publications as Narratively and The Expeditioner. His feature-length screenplay (“Play”) was a finalist in the 2013 Acclaim Scripts Film Contest. He received his bachelor’s in psychobiology from Wheaton College and his master’s in physiology from Pennsylvania State University. See more at www.dustingrinnell.com.        



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The Genius Dilemma is book one in the Human 2.0 series, which explores the science and perils of enhancing our biology.

A team of scientists has invented a new smart drug named Trillium. A revolutionary medical breakthrough, Trillium enhances cognitive abilities, creating geniuses. But the researchers are horrified to discover that genius comes at a cost.

Leviathan, the CIA¹s assassination team, has been tasked with eliminating global threats using any means necessary. When their superior General Beranger learns about Trillium, he believes he¹s uncovered a distinct advantage in the fight against terrorism. After convincing the scientists to share the drug with his team, Beranger learns there¹s just one problem‹Trillium creates cold-blooded psychopaths.

The first casualty is CIA operative David Landry who snaps hours after taking the drug. When he goes rogue, it¹s up to Special Forces, along with renowned neuroscientist Alan Pierce and psychiatrist Michelle Emmett, to stop them. Armed with a hastily concocted antidote, the team hunts Landry. His destination? Africa. Nasir Lwazi, the Kenyan president, has recently been murdered. Believing Lwazi¹s son Thomas is a threat to national security, Landry is on a ruthless mission to destroy him and he doesn¹t plan to let anyone get in his way.

Alan and the Special Forces team are determined to reach Kenya and stop Landry before he harms Thomas or any other innocent civilians. But can they get there in time? Will the antidote work? Or will Landry suffer the same fate as their other targets? In the unforgettable climax, an epic battle for power ensues as the team attempts to thwart Landry¹s homicidal tendencies.  

Written in a style reminiscent of Michael Crichton, The Genius Dilemma is a science fiction thriller, action-packed with adventure, seeded with corruption, and stunning with its abuses of power. Expect the gripping conclusion to keep you compulsively turning pages way past your bedtime.


Where to find it: 
Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/The-Genius-Dilemma-Dustin-Grinnell/dp/1495998428/
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Dilemma-Dustin-Grinnell-ebook/dp/B00HGJ7B2S/

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