The Robot Brains – Sydney J Bounds (1956)
‘BRAINS WITHOUT SOUL
Giant blonde creatures, they were as curvaceous as the bodies of their dwarf men were shrivelled.
Captain Christian was the only human who’d ever laid eyes on them. And now he wished he hadn’t. They were beauty without heart. Cruel, cold.
And he was their prisoner.’
Blurb from the 1969 Macfadden paperback edition
When the police do not believe the irascible Doctor Fox’s contention that there is a connection between a travelling circus and the decapitation of several leading scientists, he asks his friend, Captain Christian, to help him investigate.
Christian discovers that ‘The Brains’, a trio of dwarfs with enormous craniums, are working at the travelling fair and is subsequently framed for murder.
It’s an odd little novel, slightly American in style, but very British in content.
In some ways the plot can be compared to that of the Time Machine. ‘The Brains’, it transpires, have travelled from the future of Earth, long after the time when Humanity seeded interstellar colonies. The Earth humans did not divide and evolve along lines of class structure, as Wells’ humans did, but of gender, Men grew more intelligent than women while women lost their intellect and grew merely huge, blonde and beautiful. While an unlikely premise, it shows at least an awareness of sexual inequality at the time.
One woman of the future, Alma, displays intelligence and is hunted like an animal by the male Brains and the giant females. Luckily, the rest of humanity has evolved to a state of sexual equality and have confined the Brains and their females to Earth. The Brains’ aim is to change history so that mankind did not reach the stars, leaving their own race to conquer the galaxy.
Fortunately, Captain Christian is there to save the day, having been kidnapped, taken to the future and battled the Brains and some giant mutated insects before making contact with the enlightened humans who help him to rid his own time of the Brain menace.
He returns to find that Doctor Fox has married Jo the dwarf woman from the circus (as perhaps some weird symbolic reverse metaphor of future developments on Earth).