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 Ace D-335 (1959)
- The 100th Millennium Ace D-362 (1959) (based on "Earth Is But a Star", revised as Catch a Falling Star Ace G-761 (1968))
- Echo in the Skull Ace D-385 (1959) (revised as Give Warning to the World DAW 112 1974 )
- The World Swappers Ace D-391 (1959)
- The Brink Gollancz (1959)
- Slavers of Space Ace D-421 (1960) (revised as Into the Slave Nebula Lancer (1968))
- The Skynappers Ace D-457 (1960)
- The Atlantic Abomination Ace D-465 (1960)
- Sanctuary in the Sky Ace D-471 (1960)
- I Speak for Earth Ace D-497 (1961) (as Keith Woodcott)
- Meeting at Infinity Ace D-507 (1961)
- Secret Agent of Terra Ace F-133 (1962) (revised as The Avengers of Carrig Dell (1969). Book 1 of the "Zarathustra Refugee Planets" series.)
- The Super Barbarians Ace D-547 (1962)
- The Ladder in the Sky Ace F-141 (1962) (as Keith Woodcott)
- The Dreaming Earth Pyramid F-829 (1963) (revision of 1961 serial "Put Down This Earth")
- The Psionic Menace Ace F-199 (1963) (as Keith Woodcott)
- Listen! The Stars! Ace F-215(1963) (revised as The Stardroppers DAW 23 (1972))
- The Astronauts Must Not Land Ace F-227 (1963) (revised in 1973 as More Things in Heaven Dell (1973))
- The Space-Time Juggler Ace F-227 (1963)(also published as The Wanton of Argus)
- Castaways' World Ace F-242 (1963) (revised as Polymath. DAW UQ1089 (1974). Book 2 of the "Zarathustra Refugee Planets" series.)
- The Rites of Ohe Ace F-242(1963)
- To Conquer Chaos Ace F-277 (1964), DAW 422 (1981)
- Endless Shadow Ace F-299 (1964) (revised as Manshape DAW 498)
- The Whole Man Ballantine (1964) (also published as Telepathist Faber and Faber (1965))
- The Martian Sphinx Ace F-320 (1965) (as Keith Woodcott)
- Enigma from Tantalus Ace M-115 (1965)
- The Repairmen of Cyclops Ace M-115 (1965). Book 3 of the "Zarathustra Refugee Planets" series.
- The Altar on Asconel Ace M-123 (1965) (serialised as The Altar on Asconel)
- The Day of the Star Cities Ace F-361 (1965) (revised as Age of Miracles, Ace (1973), Sidgwick & Jackson (1973))
- The Long Result Faber & Faber (1965), Ballantine U2329 (1966), Penguin 2804 (1968)
- The Squares of the City Ballantine (1965), Penguin 2686 (1969)
- A Planet of Your Own Ace G-592 (1966)
- The Productions of Time Signet (1967), Penguin 3141 (1970), DAW 261 (1977)
- Born Under Mars Ace G-664 (1967)
- Quicksand Doubleday (1967), Bantam S4212 (1969), DAW 1245 (1976)
- Bedlam Planet Ace G-709 (1968), Del Rey (1982)
- Stand on Zanzibar Doubleday (1968), Ballantine 01713 (1969), Arrow (1971), Millennium (1999), Orb (2011)
- The Evil That Men Do Belmont (1969)
- Double, Double Ballantine 72019 (1969)
- The Jagged Orbit Ace Special (1969), Sidgwick & Jackson (1970), DAW 570 (1984), Gollancz (2000)
- Timescoop Dell 8916 (1969), Sidgwick & Jackson (2972), DAW 599 (1984)
- The Gaudy Shadows Constable (1970), Beagle (9171)
- The Wrong End of Time Doubleday (1971), DAW 61 (1973)
- The Dramaturges of Yan Ace (1972), New English Library (1974), Del Rey (1982)
- The Sheep Look Up Harper & Row (1972), Ballantine (1973), Quartet (1977)
- The Stone That Never Came Down Doubleday (1973), DAW 133 (1984), New English Library (1976)
- Total Eclipse Doubleday (1974), DAW 162 (1975), Orbit (1976)
- Web of Everywhere Bantam (1974), New English Library (1977) (also published as The Webs of Everywhere Del Rey (1983))
- The Shockwave Rider Harper & Row (1975), Ballantine (1976), Orbit (1977)
- The Infinitive of Go Del Rey (1980), Magnum (1981)
- Players at the Game of People Del Rey (1980)
- The Crucible of Time Del Rey (1983), Arrow (1984)
- The Tides of Time Del Rey (1984), Penguin (1986)
- The Shift Key, Methuen (1987)
- Children of the Thunder Del Rey (1989), Orbit (1990)
- A Maze of Stars Del Rey (1991)
- Muddle Earth Del Rey (1993)
Max Curfew Series
- A Plague on Both Your Causes Hodder & Stoughton (1969) (also published as Blacklash Pyramid T-2107 (1969))
- Good Men Do Nothing Hodder & Stoughton (1971), Pyramid T2443 (1971)
- Honky in the Woodpile Constable (1971)
- No Future in It Gollancz (1962). Doubleday (1964), Panther (1965), Curtis (1969)
- Times Without Number Ace F-161(1962) (revised and expanded Ace (1969))
- Now Then! Mayflower-Dell (1965) (also published as Now Then Avon (1968))
- No Other Gods But Me Compact F317 (1966)
- Out of My Mind (Ballantine (1967); abridged variant, NEL (1968))
- Not Before Time NEL (1968)
- The Traveler in Black Ace Special (1971) (revised and expanded by 1 story as The Compleat Traveller in Black Bluejay (1986))
- From This Day Forward Doubleday (1972), DAW 72 (1973)
- Entry to Elsewhen DAW 26 (1972)
- Time-Jump Dell (1973)
- The Book of John Brunner DAW 177 (1976)
- Interstellar Empire DAW 208 (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 Everest House (1980)
- The Best of John Brunner Del Rey (1988)
- Victims of the Nova Arrow (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 Ramble House (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 Barrie & Rockliff (1964) Conventional novel set in Greece.
- Wear the Butcher's Medal Pocket (1965) Mystery set in Europe featuring neo-Nazis.
- Black Is the Color Pyramid (1969, republished in 2015) Horror fiction about the "swinging London" underground in the 1960s.
- The Devil's Work W. W. Norton & Company (1970) Centres around a modern-day Hellfire Club.
- The Great Steamboat Race Ballantine (1983) Historical fiction based on an actual event.
- The Days of March Kerosina (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)
- The Overlords of War (1973) Translated from the French. Original title Les Seigneurs de la Guerre by Gérard Klein
- 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.
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