I read a book about 20-30 years ago and can't remember what it was.

Here's what I remember. The premise was that through genetic engineering the main character in the story did not need to sleep. There were quite a few children that were like this. They had high IQs also. They were being bred to be soldiers I think...not quite sure about that. The thing I remember most is the end though. They were to use their high IQ to genetically engineer the next generation to be a super-soldier. They created a super-high IQ human but made it a pacifist. That was the end of the book.

It is not Beggars in Spain.

Any help is appreciated. I'd like to get this and read it again.

  • 1
    possible duplicate of Novel about genetically engineered children who don't need to sleep
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 6:33
  • @MikeScott While the question seems practically identical, unless I'm mistaken they are asking about different novels. In the link you posted, the accepted answer ("Beggars in Spain") has little to do with super-soldiers or pacifism.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 16:43
  • 2
    I saw that post first and checked "Beggars in Spain" out. It's not the book I'm looking for.
    – Brian
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 21:55
  • My God I am looking for the same book, It's been years and I don't remember its name. I think I read it in the late 80s. I remember that they were in some kind of isolated island where they have bred some genetically modified high IQ children. Somehow they found out a way to communicate between each other (this is before internet era) and that they existed in different areas of the world. I think the ending was amazing too that's why I kept a carved souvenir and Id love to read it again too. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


Sounds like Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress. From Wikipedia:

Book cover

Beggars in Spain (and its sequels) take place in a future where genetic engineering has become a reality, and faces the consequences of genetic modifications (genemods) on society and culture.Sleeplessness confers a number of secondary benefits—higher IQ and a sunnier disposition most notably, as well as 1/3 more productive time (vs the time the unmodified spend asleep); Sleepless not only don't need sleep, they cannot sleep

  • 1
    Beggars in Spain is similar, but it's not the book. It's possible it's one of the sequels but from reading the descriptions, I don't think so. If one of the sequels creates the super-intelligent second generation genetic engineered human, then it could be.
    – Brian
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 14:48

My first thought on reading the description was the 'Sleepless' series, of which Beggers In Spain is the first. You may be thinking of the 2nd or 3rd books in the trilogy Beggers and Choosers or Beggers Ride, both of which feature a group of children (then adults) who are super-intelligent due to being second generation sleepless, with further genetic modifications.

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