Plug: listen, there’s a hell (of a good discussion going on next door, so go)

As I said in the comments section yesterday, it does not look like I’m going to get any more articles finished before the end of August.  I believe this would be the first time I ever let a whole calendar month pass without a new article, but I could be wrong.  Anyway, this time I definitely was wrong, because here’s an article.  About somebody else’s article.

Pete has been doing a bang-up job on his Gaping Blackbird blog, and I’ve mentioned it before (plus there’s a link to it in my list of Known Associates.)

However, he’s just finished one of his best reviews yet, of John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar.  Which I always meant to read, and I will someday, but do I let that stop me from commenting?  Nah!  A fine discussion already going, and a few more voices wouldn’t hurt.

So not sure how much of my readership has read that magnum opus of dystopian SF, but if you have–or if you always meant to, and need a bit more encouragement (it’s evailable!), why not head over there and check it out?

It is, shall we say, a timely work.  And much as I’ve touted Mr. Westlake’s penchant for prophecy, I  think even he would acknowledge Brunner his superior in that regard.

He’d also appreciate the man’s taste in typewriters–another Smith-Corona man, was Mr. Brunner.  He used electrics, which Mr. Westlake might deplore, but he’d have appreciated a legend that Brunner emblazoned on his typewriters, reading “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPIDITY OF EDITORS.”  (To which I would append the modifier ‘some’, but Brunner may never have had a Lee Wright or a Bucklin Moon in his life, and modifiers are wimpy.  Sometimes. Arg.)

(And how do I know what typewriter John Brunner used?  I’m so glad you asked me that.)

See you in a few weeks.  Barring catastrophe, of course.  There’s been some kind of upheaval in the world every single time I’ve visited Ireland as an adult.  It’s a thing.









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3 responses to “Plug: listen, there’s a hell (of a good discussion going on next door, so go)

  1. Thanks for the mention. It’s true that I used the word hell for the lives led by some of the characters in that book, and I don’t know if there’s any more accurate way to describe it. That said, Brunner does show that certain individuals do have control over the fate of society, even if those individuals are selected more or less by chance.

    • You’ve referred plenty of your readers here.

      I’m not sure I’m going to get you any more commenters, because let’s face it, SoZ is one of those books even serious SF readers want to read, maybe even get a copy, and then it just lies there on the shelf. For decades. Because it’s really long. And complicated. And maybe a bit too real. But I’m going on vacation. To a place where it rains a lot. It’s on my Kindle. We’ll see.

      (I have a copy of VALIS I bought several years ago, and if you give me another decade or two….)

  2. I forgot to add … I can’t decide whose typewriter portrait is better: Anthony Burgess or Robert Bloch. We definitely don’t see author portraits like those anymore!

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