David Walton

The Genius Plague

Pyr 2017

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in LiteratureNew Books in Science FictionNew Books Network January 8, 2018 Rob Wolf

Everyone knows that wild mushrooms can be dangerous, but David Walton in his new novel The Genius Plague (Pyr, 2017) raises the dangers to...

Everyone knows that wild mushrooms can be dangerous, but David Walton in his new novel The Genius Plague (Pyr, 2017) raises the dangers to a new plane.

While victims of an unusual fungal infection enjoy skyrocketing I.Q.s, they also find themselves suddenly willing to sacrifice their own (and others’) lives to protect the Amazon rain forest, raising the possibility that the fungus—a species native to the Amazon—has hijacked their minds to advance its own ends.

In his interview with Rob Wolf, Walton discusses the wonders of fungi, how he finds time to write while juggling his responsibilities as both an engineer and father of seven, how he came to believe in evolution after growing up in a family that considered Darwin’s ideas “silly,” and the importance of shunning dogma.

The Wall Street Journal named The Genius Plague one of the best science fiction books of 2017. Walton’s first book, Terminal Mind, received the Philip K. Dick Award in 2008.


Rob Wolf is the author of The Alternate Universe. He worked for a decade as a journalist, writing on a wide range of topics from science to justice reform. He now serves as director of communications at a think tank in New York City.

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