❴Download❵ ➹ Stand on Zanzibar Author John Brunner – Blockdiagramwiring.co
Reading this before discovering DosPassos U.S.A., I was mightily impressed by Brunner s originality of technique Discovering U.S.A., I was even impressed by DosPassos, of course, but did not fault Brunner s employment of the other s proven methods for painting an enormous, richly textured picture of a possible future.The book was anxiety provoking in 1969 The accuracy of many of Brunner s predictions makes one wonder about the increasingly large subgenre of science fiction books which are set in futures which have now happened This device has been employed, self consciously, in many books and movies of the alternative timestream variety, books such as The Iron Dream by Spinrad or movies such as Brazil or the recent Richard the Third But what about the naive products of the past What of their influences on us What of our avoidance of seeing the contrast between past anxieties upon reading such prognostications and present calm acceptance of such horrors I think, in this instance and in reference to Brunner s theme, of Haiti and the global misallocation of resources between first and third worlds which Haiti represents People are starving, really starving, because it is now profitable to make biofuels for the vehicles of the rich than it is to produce food The response is piddling charity and police repression And we see this, if we wish, live, on television, on the web We can talk to people over there, on the ground, amidst the riots, by cell phone Meanwhile, the trends towards ever greater accumulations of wealth and power, on the one hand, and ever wider immiseration, on the other, continue.Stand on Zanzibar is set at about now, at the time you may be reading this A subsequently set novel by Brunner, The Sheep Look Up, is also available and worth reading for many of the same reasons. Definitely one of the best SF dystopias, which IMHO deserved attention OK, it s fair that 1984 and Brave New World received greater critical acclaim there s no doubt that they are better But there must be a hundred people who have read them for every one who s read Zanzibar, and that s not an accurate reflection of the difference in quality Brunner has some interesting things to say that you won t find in either of the other two books, and he writes quite well.By the way, in case you re wondering the title is based on the computation that, when the action takes place, you would require the surface area of the island of Zanzibar to find standing room for the entire population of the Earth. Norman Niblock House Is A Rising Executive At General Technics, One Of A Few All Powerful Corporations His Work Is Leading General Technics To The Forefront Of Global Domination, Both In The Marketplace And Politically It S About To Take Over A Country In Africa Donald Hogan Is His Roommate, A Seemingly Sheepish Bookworm But Hogan Is A Spy, And He S About To Discover A Breakthrough In Genetic Engineering That Will Change The World And Kill Him These Two Men S Lives Weave Through One Of Science Fiction S Most Praised Novels Written In A Way That Echoes John Dos Passos USA Trilogy, Stand On Zanzibar Is A Cross Section Of A World Overpopulated By The Billions Where Society Is Squeezed Into Hive Living Madness By God Like Mega Computers, Mass Marketed Psychedelic Drugs, And Mundane Uses Of Genetic Engineering Though Written In , It Speaks Of , And Is Frighteningly Prescient And Intensely PowerfulThis Edition Comes With A Tipped In Collectors Note And An Introduction By David Brin Some novels should only be read once On my second read, I wanted to downgrade my estimation of the novel by a star.I felt sad.Sure Shalmaneser was and still is my go to model for a hell of a kick ass supercomputer developing true intelligence and will, with all of it s concomitant problems, such as addiction and hallucination How very 1969 of a novel, Mr Brunner And yes, when I first read this back in 1990, I was surprised and oh so pleased by all the counterculture, drug use, clandestine exploration of assassination techniques, and heavy exploration of genetics within a sociological backdrop And now I m only reminded of the great effort that I had to put into reading it Both times.I can honestly say that I ll be giving Brunner props forever for all the effort he put into all the digressions, the advertisements, the worldbuilding, and the dystopian outlook of an extremely overpopulated world I can t say that I particularly liked its readability, though It annoyed Greatly But I can step back and admire it from afar and pray I m never called on to read the novel again.On the other hand, I did get into Donald s story easier this time, and Norman with Chad C Mulligan kicks all sorts of ass from the beginning to almost the very last line in the novel What can I say I prefer letting the computer get the last laugh It usually does, anyway My hat goes off to the novel, once again, but I m now hesitating as to whether I d put this at the top or even in the top twenty novels that I ve loved Even though, in memory, I always put it there before.Hell, the novel was one of the first fifty novels that cemented my love of SF, and it certainly pushed me off the bridge to go on a hell of a John Brunner spree where I wouldn t touch any other novelist for eight months I can stand in awe of Stand on Zanzibar all I want, but honestly, I think I LOVED The Sheep Look Up and Shockwave Rider MUCH better There s a great deal to be said about readability and adventure Just having a great premise doesn t always mean you ve got a truly timeless story I m speaking to you, Mr Love Aerosol God damn you for crazy idiots All of you You re not fit to manage your silly lives I know you re fools have you watched you and wept for you And Oh my god His voice cracked to a breathing moan I love you I ve tried not to, and I can t help it I love you all Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up were two of my favourite books at university, and the covers even appear in my Master s Thesis.Brunner wrote a few truly awful sci fi books early in his career, and then something happened LSD , and then he wrote these two masterpieces Truly Awesome books Set in 2010, note that the book features a president named Obomi That was 600 pages of sheer eccentricity Not in a bad way, but wow I love books like this, that push the boundaries in some way, play around with indirect narrative As long as they know why they re doing it This one did.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook 6.0 stars One of my All Time Favorites A staggering novel Rich in characters, a superbly crafted story that moves very quickly and deals with some very important issues I absolutely loved this book and consider it one of the true classics of Science Fiction Winner Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1969 Nominee Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1969 Winner Britsh Science Fiction Award for Best Novel 1970 Why oh Why are cynics, skeptics, pessimists and satirists such good oracles I know things are nowhere near that bad, but there are a lot of good predictions there with a whole lot of counter sprinkled culture all over And now John Brunner is correct about the Chinese being the first to start editing the human genome, we have the technology to create Mr and Mrs Everywhere deep fakes and us leaving and decisions for AIs The books main cynic Chad C Mulligan is even temporarily defeated and gives up and chooses to conform Firstly, the title and with it the main theme of the book John Burnner has read a trivia article that calculated that you could put all the people of the world on one island, that island being Isle of Wight 384 km2 After reading that article he calculated where could one put the whole population of Earth in 2010 and he came up with Zanzibar 2,462 km2 and questioned what would that do to human psychology based on the first paragraph of my review you can tell his answer was bleak So yeah, this book is basically the Bible for cynics with just enough hope to make you angry all wrapped in an experience which reminds me of channel surfing at 2 am with all the movies and commercials no one wants to broadcast in prime time By this I mean the author described his world through news bulletins, commercials and personal stories of a large number of people In this way you end up with a pretty complete picture of his world.And still I love this book, I have no idea why Oh and Shalmaneser the supercomputer still has the last laugh. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner is an amazing book First of all, the title comes from the idea of putting all the people on the planet in one place A nineteenth century commentator speculated that if everyone were to stand, and have maybe a couple feet square around him or her, then everyone could stand together on the Isle of Wight Some time later this concept was expanded due to population increases to speculate that the same experiment could be done on the Isle of Man Brunner, setting his novel in the not too distant future of 2010, extrapolated that then, with population continuing to expand exponentially, the gathering would need to be conducted on the African island of Zanzibar.Stand on Zanzibar uses a narrative technique pioneered by the Lost Generation novelist John Dos Passos in his USA trilogy Brunner used a cacophony of voices and characters, news bulletins, and illustrative sketches and a large cast of characters and settings to create an experience of out of control, inevitable and relentless over population Winner of the 1969 Hugo Award, this is a thought provoking, dystopian tour de force that can overwhelm the reader, but through masterful crafting, stays on track and has a satisfying, if not disheartening end Eclipsed by other dystopian novels like Brave New World and 1984, this is nonetheless a worthy entry in that list.I have long been a fan of writers like Philip K Dick and William Gibson who bravely set their stories in the near future and there could even be an ever growing sub genre of science fiction whose vision has now become contemporary Brunner has done an admirable job in contemplating a time, only 40 odd years in his future where over population and increasing poverty are progressing at an alarming rate Most alarming to me was Brunner s prophetic ideas of muckers those people who have run amok and go on mass murder killing sprees Brunner s vision is not without hope, but his predictions fall too close to home to go without notice, and hopefully, with some contemplation. This psychedelic novel, is set in the far distant future, 2010 When we can look forward to picture phones, holographic t.v sets , Moon bases looking down on the poor, struggling, threatened Earth, and battery powered cars everywhere, can t wait but no cell phones or internet, the book was written in 1968, which shows how useless forecasting the future is, if the obvious has to be stated again The happening man is Mr.Norman Niblock House, he lives in a domed Manhattan, the rest of New York City s citizens, are not important enough to have that structure, is this a Republic Busy Norman works as an executive and only black man, for General Technical Corporation, G T to its loyal and not so loyal employees and still run by the legendary founder Georgette Tallon Buckfast , a sprightly, 91 year old Donald Hogan is his rather lethargic, mysterious , intellectual roommate, the city, much overcrowded, who apparently from an unknown source of income, somehow has plenty of money That era s mad prophet Chad C.Mulligan, a best selling writer, read by millions of people, real books too trouble is, no one follows Mulligan s advice, so the wealthy, disgusted man drops out, and becomes a street winoYes, he is rather weird , things are not perfect in the second decade, of the 21st century, the endless Vietnam War, is going on after 50 year , also the draft, the population bomb has finally arrived, and crime rates have increased to unprecedented levels, anarchy prevails The Earth is dying slowly, a sad end for the former, magnificent, blue planet, Donald disappears and Chad reappears, not to worry though, Shalmaneser, G T s , powerful computer, that doesn t make mistakes, they believe will come to the rescue, and the all knowing machine will save the dayAn American diplomat, stationed in the little west African state of Beninia, I haven t heard of it either, my friends comes up with a scheme to take over that impoverished country, in all but name and bring prosperity to Beninia this, right after the end of oppressive, colonialism in Africa Plus a nice little profit to the great corporation , being strictly a business deal only, they re not a charity organization, Norman becomes head of the project in Africa, as an African American, it looks appropriate, to the rest of the world Mr House has a vast amount of reading to do, though, too bad there is no internet or cell phones in this alternative future, the job would be a whole lot easier, all those books to carry around A product of its time, but still a terrific novel, worth reading, a fascinating glimpse of what could have been..