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84thProblem
January 3rd, 2011, 08:55 PM
I recall reading a story a couple decades ago - might have been written a decade or two before that.

In this book, a full-length novel, the Earth has been traveling for a long time (eons?) through a region of space where the speed of light is abnormally low. One day, it emerges from this region and suddenly the speed of light is much faster. People are thinking faster and becoming more intelligent - so are the animals.
People find that travel through the stars at speeds much faster than the former speed of light is now possible and most plan to leave the Earth. Others, formerly not the brightest bulbs, are depressed and artificially limit their intelligence.

Any clues?

Pellinore
January 3rd, 2011, 09:36 PM
Though the plot isn't ringing any bells, the concept of shifts that affect thinking and the speed of light sounds just like Vernor Vinge's zones of thought from 'A Fire Upon the Deep.' Perhaps a Vinge short story?

clinton
January 3rd, 2011, 10:56 PM
Try Brain Wave by Poul Anderson.

84thProblem
January 4th, 2011, 06:36 PM
Boom! Clinton nailed it! I should have even written that I remembered the cover was illustrated with a chimp riding an elephant. Unfortuntely, I can't find any copies in my local library.

I read up a bit on Verner Vinge and "A Fire Upon the Deep" too. That sounds like a great story! Off to look for a copy ...