John Brunner (novelist)
John Brunner, c. 1967
|Born||John Kilian Houston Brunner
24 September 1934
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, U.K.
|Died||25 August 1995
|Genre||Science fiction, fantasy|
|Notable works||Stand on Zanzibar
The Shockwave Rider
The Sheep Look Up
The Jagged Orbit
John Kilian Houston Brunner (24 September 1934 – 26 August 1995) was a British author of science fiction novels and stories. His 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar, about an overpopulated world, won the 1969 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel, and the BSFA award the same year. The Jagged Orbit won the BSFA award in 1970.
Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie Rosamond Sauer on 12 July 1958.
Brunner had an uneasy relationship with British new wave writers, who often considered him too American in his settings and themes. He attempted to shift to a more mainstream readership in the early 1980s, without success. Before his death, most of his books had fallen out of print. Brunner accused publishers of a conspiracy against him, although he was difficult to deal with (his wife had handled his publishing relations before she died).
Brunner's health began to decline in the 1980s and worsened with the death of his wife in 1986. He remarried, to Li Yi Tan, on 27 September 1991. He died of a heart attack in Glasgow on 25 August 1995, while attending the World Science Fiction Convention there.
At first writing conventional space opera, Brunner later began to experiment with the novel form. His 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar exploits the fragmented organizational style John Dos Passos invented for his USA trilogy, but updates it in terms of the theory of media popularised by Marshall McLuhan.
The Jagged Orbit (1969) is set in a United States dominated by weapons proliferation and interracial violence, and has 100 numbered chapters varying in length from a single syllable to several pages in length. The Sheep Look Up (1972) depicts ecological catastrophe in America. Brunner is credited with coining the term "worm" and predicting the emergence of computer viruses in his 1975 novel The Shockwave Rider, in which he used the term to describe software which reproduces itself across a computer network. Together with Stand on Zanzibar, these novels have been called the "Club of Rome Quartet", named after the Club of Rome whose 1972 report The Limits to Growth warned of the dire effects of overpopulation.
Brunner's pen names include K. H. Brunner, Gill Hunt, John Loxmith, Trevor Staines, Ellis Quick, Henry Crosstrees Jr., and Keith Woodcott.
In addition to his fiction, Brunner wrote poetry and many unpaid articles in a variety of publications, particularly fanzines, but also 13 letters to the New Scientist and an article about the educational relevance of science fiction in Physics Education. Brunner was an active member of the organisation Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and wrote the words to "The H-Bomb's Thunder", which was sung on the Aldermaston Marches. He was a linguist, translator,[further explanation needed] and Guest of Honour at the first European Science Fiction Convention Eurocon-1 in Trieste in 1972.
Film and TV
John Brunner wrote the screenplay for the 1967 science fiction film The Terrornauts by Amicus Productions.
Two of his short stories, "Some Lapse of Time" and "The Last Lonely Man", were adapted as TV plays in the BBC science fiction series Out of the Unknown, in series 1 (1965) and series 3 (1969) respectively.
Science-fiction and fantasy novels
- Galactic Storm (1951) (as Gill Hunt)
- Threshold of Eternity (1959)
- The 100th Millennium (1959) (based on "Earth Is But a Star", revised in 1968 as Catch a Falling Star)
- Echo in the Skull (1959) (revised in 1974 as Give Warning to the World)
- The World Swappers (1959)
- The Brink (1959)
- Slavers of Space (1960) (revised in 1968 as Into the Slave Nebula)
- The Skynappers (1960)
- The Atlantic Abomination (1960)
- Sanctuary in the Sky (1960)
- I Speak for Earth (1961) (as Keith Woodcott)
- Meeting at Infinity (1961)
- Secret Agent of Terra (1962) (revised in 1969 as The Avengers of Carrig. Book 1 of the "Zarathustra Refugee Planets" series.)
- The Super Barbarians (1962)
- The Ladder in the Sky (1962) (as Keith Woodcott)
- The Dreaming Earth (1963) (revision of 1961 serial "Put Down This Earth")
- The Psionic Menace (1963) (as Keith Woodcott)
- Listen! The Stars! (1963) (revised in 1972 as The Stardroppers)
- The Astronauts Must Not Land (1963) (revised in 1973 as More Things in Heaven)
- The Space-Time Juggler (1963) (also published as The Wanton of Argus)
- Castaways' World (1963) (revised in 1974 as Polymath. Book 2 of the "Zarathustra Refugee Planets" series.)
- The Rites of Ohe (1963)
- To Conquer Chaos (1964)
- Endless Shadow (1964) (revised in 1982 as Manshape)
- The Whole Man (1964) (also published as Telepathist)
- The Martian Sphinx (1965) (as Keith Woodcott)
- Enigma from Tantalus (1965)
- The Repairmen of Cyclops (1965, Book 3 of the "Zarathustra Refugee Planets" series.)
- The Altar on Asconel (1965) (serialised as The Altar on Asconel)
- The Day of the Star Cities (1965) (revised in 1973 as Age of Miracles)
- The Long Result (1965)
- The Squares of the City (1965)
- A Planet of Your Own (1966)
- The Productions of Time (1967)
- Born Under Mars (1967)
- Quicksand (1967)
- Bedlam Planet (1968)
- Stand on Zanzibar (1968)
- The Evil That Men Do (1969)
- Double, Double (1969)
- The Jagged Orbit (1969)
- Timescoop (1969)
- Times Without Number (1969)
- The Gaudy Shadows (1970)
- The Wrong End of Time (1971)
- The Dramaturges of Yan (1972)
- The Sheep Look Up (1972)
- The Stone That Never Came Down (1973)
- Total Eclipse (1974)
- Web of Everywhere (1974) (also published as The Webs of Everywhere)
- The Shockwave Rider (1975)
- The Infinitive of Go (1980)
- Players at the Game of People (1980)
- Manshape (1982) (revision of the novella "Endless Shadow")
- The Crucible of Time (1983)
- The Tides of Time (1984)
- The Shift Key (1987)
- Children of the Thunder (1988)
- A Maze of Stars (1991)
- Muddle Earth (1993)
Max Curfew Series
- A Plague on Both Your Causes (1969) (also published as Backlash)
- Good Men Do Nothing (1971)
- Honky in the Woodpile (1971)
- No Future in It (1962)
- Times Without Number (1962) (revised and expanded in 1969)
- Now Then! (1965) (also published as Now Then)
- No Other Gods But Me (1966)
- Out of My Mind (1967, Ballantine; abridged variant 1968, NEL)
- Not Before Time (1968)
- The Traveler in Black (1971) (revised and expanded by 1 story as The Compleat Traveller in Black in 1986)
- From This Day Forward (1972)
- Entry to Elsewhen (1972)
- Time-Jump (1973)
- The Book of John Brunner (1976)
- Interstellar Empire (1976) (a collection of a novella and two "Ace Double" halves: The Altar on Asconel, "The Man from the Big Dark" and The Space-Time Juggler (under the title of The Wanton of Argus))
- Foreign Constellations (1980)
- The Best of John Brunner (1988)
- Victims of the Nova (1989) (Complete Zarathustra Refugee Planets series. Omnibus of Polymath, Secret Agent of Terra and The Repairmen of Cyclops)
- The Man Who Was Secrett and Other Stories (2013)
- Life in an Explosive Forming Press (1970)
- Trip: A Sequence of Poems Through the USA (1971)
- A Hastily Thrown Together Bit of Zork (1974)
- Tomorrow May Be Even Worse (1978)
- A New Settlement of Old Scores (1983)
- The Crutch of Memory (1964) Conventional novel set in Greece.
- Wear the Butcher's Medal (1965) Mystery set in Europe featuring neo-Nazis.
- Black Is the Color (1969, republished in 2015) Horror fiction about the "swinging London" underground in the 1960s.
- The Devil's Work (1970) Centres around a modern-day Hellfire Club.
- The Great Steamboat Race (1983) Historical fiction based on an actual event.
- The Days of March (1988) Novel about the early days of the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament.
- The Incestuous Lovers (1969) (as Henry Crosstrees, Jr.) Original title Malcolm and Sarah
- Ball in the Family (1973) (as Ellis Quick)
- Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. pp. 70–72. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.
- "Obituary of John Brunner". Daily Telegraph. 25 September 1995. p. 23.
- Bisson, Simon (13 July 2012). "Science fiction: Why it's a must read for IT pros". ZDnet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Physics Education (1971) volume 6 pages 389–391 "The educational relevance of science fiction" by John Brunner
- Spy Guys and Gals, Max Curfew
- Thomas D. Clareson, ed. (1978), Voices for the Future: Essays on Major Science Fiction Writers, Volume 2, Popular Press
- Black Gate, The Great Steamboat Race
- "The John Brunner Archive". University of Liverpool Library, Special Collections and Archives. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Лаборатория Фантастики". Fantlab. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: John Brunner|
- The John Brunner Archive at the University of Liverpool
- Obituary on Rudy's Books
- Bibliography on SciFan
- John Brunner at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- John Brunner at Goodreads
- John Brunner at the Internet Book List
- John Brunner at Library of Congress Authorities, with catalogue records