The Genius Dilemma

by Dustin Grinnell

  • Debut novel from Dustin Grinnell
  • Targeted review campaign


Though only 1% of the population their damage to society is profound. They mangle relationships, they swindle the innocent and in the case of those with a murderous instinct they kill, often serially and without remorse. They are the world’s psychopaths.

No other time perhaps has the public’s imagination been more hooked on these dark creatures. ‘The Wisdom of Psychopaths’ sits on bookshelves. ‘Seven Psychopaths’ shows on the big screen. ‘Dexter’ on the small. In ‘Why We Love Sociopaths,’ author Adam Kotsko says our appetite for psychopaths reflects a deep skepticism about fairness, and a growing suspicion that perhaps the world now rewards evil people, not good. This, he says, leads some to the Machiavellian conclusion, “I’m going to get mine.”

In The Genius Dilemma, a science fiction thriller, a pharmaceutical CEO has created an innovative smart drug that creates geniuses. A team of scientists, including Stanford neuroscientist Alan Pierce and psychiatrist Michelle Emmett, test the cognitive enhancer on a special operations team, which preventatively assassinates future global threats. But the scientists and the military team’s colonel, David Landry, soon discover a side effect. While the drug stimulates exponential increases in intelligence it also turns its users into clinical psychopaths.

Written in a style reminiscent of Michael Crichton, The Genius Dilemma is a science fiction thriller, action-packed with adventure, seeded with corruption, and stunning with its abuses of power. Expect the gripping conclusion to keep you compulsively turning pages way past your bedtime.


Dustin Grinnell has spent the last several years as a writer for corporate America, writing and editing marketing copy, developing stories for scientific publications, and writing articles, podcasts and video scripts for a popular science blog. He is currently a science writer for a biomedical research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to The Genius Dilemma, Dustin has written a full-length screenplay and is currently working on his second novel, Without Limits. His travels essays have appeared in such publications as Narratively, The Expeditioner, Verge Magazine and The Boston Globe. He also maintains a blog for travel stories and essays called Lost & Found. He has worked as a research scientist and a copywriter, and received his B.A. in psychobiology from Wheaton College and his M.S. in physiology from Pennsylvania State University.