is no ordinary sci-fi writer. The issues
These include how much an advanced society is dependent on highly intelligent people to run it and how, in a crisis, the clear thinking and logic of such people will always provide answers; how we all need to be challenged but, thanks to government-sponsored social engineering, the masses can be kept contetded and docile, principally through low-brow entertainment.
But above all, IQ83 poses questions about the broad function of intelligence in society. For instance, should we take our individual IQs for granted in the way we do? After all, we can no more imagine the effect of losing our intellect than we can envisage ourselves with a different personality. More dangerously, society has made no provision for a disaster such as that described by Herzog - mainly because the idea seems so far-fetched.
But is it so unlikely? If a rogue protein absorbed orally can turn the human brain into a sponge, as in CJD, cannot, as in IQ83, a rogue airborne virus do something similar to the DNA in our brains ?
Clearly, Arthur Herzog, now 75, is no ordinary sci-fi writer. The issues he confronts in IQ83 are at the very heart of our existence on this planet. This being so, I felt that he might have something to say about the direction the world had taken since his book appeared 25 years ago.
I found his personal site on the Internet and when I contacted him he seemed very interested in my questions. I began by asking him about his childhood influences. He seems to have had a serious side from an early age, and even a concern for the environment.