Archive for August 3rd, 2007

The Shockwave Rider. John Brunner

The Shockwave Rider. John Brunner. 1975. ISBN 0345274725. In my pursuit of prescient authors, I discovered John Brunner, a big hit in the 70s who passed away in ’95. He invented the term “worm” It was a chore to find this book ( Use but well worth it. Imagine a world where the arms race is replaced by the brain race. Individuals with the promise of high intellect are taken to a special “school” and trained to be the wisest of them all for $3M a year each by the govt. What happens if none of the “brightest” ones breaks out and rebels? This takes place in a society that is increasingly “dumber” and the “Net” /govt is becoming more controlling over individual lives. Plus the population is evermore “on the move” having adopted a “plug in” life style which has led to multiple life style crisis, heavy drug use and teenagers roaming in vicious tribes. This book is 32 yrs old, but it is relevant. The authors style may throw you, but it holds your interest. I recommend it.

Wikipedia says ” His 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar won the 1969 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel, and is now considered a classic of the genre. The Jagged Orbit won the British SF Award in 1971. His novel The Sheep Look Up (1972) was a prophetic warning of ecological disaster. Brunner’s best-known work is perhaps 1975‘s proto-Cyberpunk The Shockwave Rider, in which he coined the term “worm“, used to describe software which reproduces itself across a computer network.”