The Genius Plague by David Walton


I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since I saw the author’s AMA on Reddit. I’m not a huge sci-fi reader, but the premise was too intriguing to pass up: a fungi infection can make you super-smart, but it also takes over your mind and affects your actions to ensure its survival. It’s a symbiotic relationship, except for the fact that you can’t control how you feel about things like killing people when they want to give you antifungals.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable read. It played out like any apocalypse movie, where you just don’t ask questions and enjoy it for what it is. Action and thrills and *insert charismatic white male actor* protagonist you can’t not like. A fun book that brings up some really interesting concepts.


The thing is, I just didn’t understand why people were killing each other, starting with political leaders. If they’re smart enough to create elaborate plans to assassinate world leaders, they’re smart enough to make the obvious conclusion: those people have power, and thus infecting them and getting them on your side is the best course of action. Killing doesn’t make sense when you can add them to your hosts instead of starting riots. The whole book was about what was best for the fungus, and it was even said that spreading the infection is what’s best, so why all the war and death? I get that overpopulation was an issue, but that’s simple too. Step 1: infect everyone. Step 2: Have half the world kill themselves. Bam. Done. It bothered me that something that simple wasn’t addressed.




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