Brain Plague by Joan Slonczewski
Approx. 113,530 words.
Published on May 3, 2010 by
“In Joan Slonczewski’s Brain Plague...a starving artist on the planet Veledon agrees to let a colony of “brain enhancers” occupy her skull. These microscopic creatures live in the brain’s outer linings, causing bursts of genius—or irreparable harm. The creatures themselves are like tiny human beings; one of their greatest concerns is getting their young to breed.” — The New Yorker