Friday, June 8, 2012

S Fowler Wright's "Brain" (novelette, mad scientist, free)

Quote from short story Brain by S Fowler Wright
I'm not sure I get the reason for the importance of this story - it made into "Adventures in Time & Space". It's not unreadable, but may be time has tempered its effect.

Story summary.

Self-centered & arrogant scientists have grabbed political power, & are the new rulers. Story is of a conflict between the president & another councillor eying the presidentship. A conflict that will end in disaster for the ruling clique.

A substantial part of story is of a couple of inventions by the incumbent president: a chemical whose injection turns you into a mental superman, & another that makes you love all creatures. And testing of it on a pig - the life of an intelligent pig that knows it's headed for butchers'!

Usurper wants government to approve the procurement of hundreds of newly born human babies for scientific research! He intends to remove the brains of these babies to put them into dogs, & to put dog brains into babies - to observe the effect! This part sounded a bit like Jonathan Swift's well known satire "A Modest Proposal" (download), but I guess you need a familiarity with English society of 1930s to get what he is satirizing.

Fact sheet.

First published: Author's collection "The New Gods Lead" (1932)?
Download full text from Internet Archive or here.
Rating: B.