One reason why I got heavily into reading was the experience of encountering minds much more intelligent than my own. Like the Brain Booster in the movie "Forbidden Planet," reading one of the great novels, "War and Peace" or "Brothers" or "Vicomte De Braggelone," increases your I.Q. by a level of points.
I was thinking about that while reading one of Asimov's great "Foundation" books. As I consider doing a few more ebooks, the prospect of writing a sci-fi novel is in front of me, given the genre's popularity. I decided to read more from one of the very best creators of that genre. Asimov is that.
The layers of mental tricks and battles being displayed by his characters is impressive.
Who are other genius American writers from now or the past? David Foster Wallace has been portrayed as one. Was he really? What is there to learn from him? Wasn't his obsession with consciousness and self a waste of brain power?
On any list of brainiest American novelists I'd put Scott Fitzgerald, Ayn Rand, Cozzens, Melville, Asimov, a very few others. Those whose understanding of the complexities of society, people, and the world is something to learn from.