I'm looking for a book I read in the 90's...it was about an experiment a couple decided to do on their child to make him smarter. I think the child ended up being too smart or something but I remember it getting kind of scary...his brain got bigger and bigger. I know I'm being vague but I was really young when I read it and it was way too advanced for me but I'm trying to find it!

  • 1
    In the Shadow series, a squeal to the popular Ender's game by orson scott card, Bean is a genetically enhanced child whos extremely smart, but because of issues with the process he will keep growing until he dies.
    – Himarm
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 21:05
  • I believe I've read this, or something similar - it was an experiment in making babies smarter, but it was too successful, though I can't remember the ending. It was a short story, rather than a novel, and I've got the author in my head as Orson Scott Card, but I can't find anything it might be in his bibliography. I can also remember what the cover of the book looked like, but alas my google fu is weak....
    – andrewsi
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 2:04
  • That does occur in Ender's Shadow, but that was published in 1999, so that doesn't seem likely. That being said, Card often expands earlier short-stories into book later, so it might be one of his short-stories that I'm just not remembering that he later expanded.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 3:27
  • Ah-ha! This is the short I was thinking of: goodreads.com/book/show/121626.Dr_Pak_s_Preschool - it's by David Brin.
    – andrewsi
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 5:51
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    "When the Bough Breaks" by "Lewis Padgett" (Kuttner & Moore) involves a couple who has a number of men from the future come back and enhance the intelligence of their child. His brain does indeed swell and it is very scary for them because he gains psychic powers, but has all of the restraint of a toddler.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


Mutation by Robin Cook (1990)

Victor Frank, and his wife Marsha, are unable to have a second child due to Marsha's infertility. They turn to surrogacy as an alternate method of conception. Victor, an obstetrician-gynaecologist and owner of the biochemical company Chimera Inc., injects the egg implanted in his wife with an agent called Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) into chromosome six, which causes the baby to grow more neurons than usual, as a result making them super intelligent. Their son, VJ, is born a genius. He is able to talk in six months and read in thirteen.

  • VJ does not suffer from the cranial expansion problem, but his siblings do, due to them getting dosages of an antibiotic that triggers the brain growth again. But otherwise, it's an excellent match!
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 17:26

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