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Excerpt from Gray Matter

Martin and Rachel Whitman are consulting with Dr. Lucius Malenko about a top-secret surgical procedure that can "enhance" the intelligence of their son, Dylan.

"Your son's IQ will be higher."

"It will?" Martin's voice skipped an octave. He could not disguise his excitement. "How much higher?"

Malenko smiled. "How much would you like?"

"You mean we have a choice?"

Malenko chuckled. "Enhancement can't be fine-tuned to an exact number, of course." He then unlocked a drawer from a file cabinet behind him and removed a folder from which he removed some charts. The first was a lopsided bell curve showing the IQ distribution of high school seniors and the colleges they attended. On the far right end of the curve where the scores went from eighty-five to one hundred and five, the schools listed were community colleges and Southern state schools. But at the long thin tapered end were the A-list institutions--Stanford, Cal Tech, MIT, WPI, and the top Ivy Leagues.

"Dylan's IQ is currently about eighty-two. Let's say, for instance, that it was enhanced by fifteen points, he would just get by in the typical high school. Another fifteen points would mean he'd perform well in high school and just passably at a mid-level college. Another fifteen points would mean he'd do well at the better colleges. Another fifteen points--an IQ about one hundred forty--would mean he'd do a sterling job at the better colleges. Another fifteen points and he would have an incandescent mind capable of doing superior work at the very best institutions."

"Incandescent mind." The phrase hummed in Rachel's consciousness.

"Wow," whispered Martin.

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