enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar

I read this book about 1-May-2013. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1968. This note was last modified Tuesday, 14-May-2013 18:49:57 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


One of the three (this, The Jagged Orbit, and The Sheep Look Up) that really built up his reputation in the late 1960s.

It stands up better than I would have expected. These are pre demographic transition books, still written under the fear of Malthusian population catastrophe. (I'm not sure why we're so sure the demographic transition is universal and stable.) ("Pre" in the sense of before it was widely recognized; not in the sense of before it happened.)

But, while that's background to this book, it's not the main topic. This book seems to be about social insanity, largely. I think the bottom-line message comes down to "competition is bad".

I do think his attempts at 2010 slang are embarrassingly ugly, and go in the wrong directions a lot. I don't mind that they're not what we actually use; that's to be expected.

And they've mostly got one big computer, working towards sapience, rather than a lot of little ones. Well, I suspect our little ones are as big as their big one.

The sexism fairy has been quite busy around the background society, too.

Chad Mulligan, guerilla sociologist, is the interesting character, though he's mostly peripheral (his books are quoted a lot, then eventually he appears on stage).

And, for once, the Bight of Benin is not the most unfortunate spot on the planet.

I doubt I've re-read this one before; certainly not since I started logging my reading. I do re-read The Shockwave Rider rather more often, but it appears that I haven't done even that since 2001. Maybe soon.


[dd-b] [dd-b's books] [book log] [RSS] [sf] [mystery] [childhood] [nonfiction]
[dd-b] [site status] [pit]

David Dyer-Bennet