Puter worms and self replicating code all the cyber componentsThe increasing rate of change has sent most Americans into Mental Distress Everything One Does distress Everything one does subject to scrutiny by the Feds and by anyone who can hack the Web The flip side is that oneself is rarely able to find out important information In other words there are those around one who know things they shouldn t are improperly profiting from it and one can t do anything about it The protagonist is a government trained programmer who becomes hacker xtraordinaireA far reaching vision The book is worth reading to see how true it has become in certain senses Predicting the future is a hit or miss proposition Prescient proto cyberpunk classic Highly influenced by Alvin Toffler s Futureshock down to having a Toffler #Like Philosopher Uoted In The Book And # philosopher uoted in the book and Toffler blurb on the back Used the idea of the computer worm and virus called a phage in the book for maybe the first time in sci fi Eventually devolves into a 70s aging hippie luddite critiue of of technological advancement completely failing to foresee the individual antitotalitarian One Wild Weekend empowerment the information revolution brought about The solution to a rigid sort ofugenics Forgetful of Their Sex experiment to breed what would be called hackers is brought down by an off the grid bunch of third way San Franciscans I may have a hippie heart but my rational brain found thending kind of amusingly wrong headed as the hero uses the very information snooping tactics he accuses his opponents of misusing to bring down the vil military industrial CIA whatever Oh he s GOOD so it must be okay Yawn Yet I absolutely loved lots of the prescient philosophical arguments about information and predictions such as services such as InTrade that uses multiple sampling to predict future convergences of successfully Also DARPA s vilified criticized and withdrawn initiative to do the same with military and government policies A VERY FUN BOOK AND STILL AN EXTREMELY WORTHWHILE READ fun book and still an xtremely worthwhile read book starts out a little rocky and disjointed possibly an intentional style by the author to match with the subject material then pulls together and ultimately soars by the last third Written in 1975 much of the technology forecast in this book is amazingly prescient F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby especially that relating to the Internet datanet I m not usually a fan of thelliptical writing and shallow characterization typical of older sci fi and I m not a huge fan of puns wordplay is used liberally throughout as paragraphscene titles but I still Walled (The Line, enjoyed this book and wish I could give it 45 stars mainly due to the denouement and interesting ideas about society in terms of how individuals contribute and what is fair This places it somewhat in the same territory as Atlas Shrugged and Beggars in Spain but it is radically different fromither one and has a radically different solutionI m inspired to read John Brunner. Flight and constant changes of identity at the strange small town called Precipice he discovers he is not alone in his uest But can his new allies save him when he falls again into the sinister grasp of Tarnov. .
I m writing this review on a smart phone connected to the world wide web and it will be seen by potentially thousands of people around the world yet I am sat on a train in Birmingham England Later I will browse Facebook or YouTube and advertisers will target me based on data they have detected from the web sites I have visited This is the world we live in the world nvisaged by John Brunner in 1975 and that core idea is what makes this science fiction novel so very chilling The minds of men can no longer keep up with science and technology changing the fabric of society at breakneck speed The computers were now the masters of menThe overall structure of this book is very confusing I struggled to recognise a story at all in places and there is very little characterisation so it is a tough read Like other people have said this is however a book of ideas and overall it is a gripping narrative of what was then a very real future much of which has come to pass A proto cyberpunk text by Brunner that I didn t warm to that much but fairs alright in hindsightand as a piece with uartet sometimes refered to as his American uartet the images aren t as vivid and the plot is opaue Some interesting moments with an nding somewhat choing Bester s Tiger Tiger Fine Stars my Destination blah Interesting book specially the thoughts on identity which seem very prophetic for the identity theft age some lements seem to have been better handled by Gibson and Iain M Banksinformation refuges tcThis along with Stand on Zanzibar Jagged Little Orbit and The Sheep Look Up aren t a tightly constructed uartet detailing a intricate future history but different visions and warnings mutated by the different permutations Brunner throws at them but a similiar feel They are stark satires with narrative ideas borrowed from modernist author Dos Passos and somewhat similiar ffect Moorcock s Cornelius adventuresesp Cure for Cancer And The English Assassin The English Assassin intentially absurd are 3 dimensional lived in futures that hold up remarkably well in thhis day and age Three and a half stars rounded up This is an unusual book one without a plot xactly and which nds with a uestion for the reader rather than an actual conclusion But considering that it was published in 1975 it felt less outdated in its prediction of a wired future than one would have thought when I read it in 2004 or thereabouts When this book came out in the mid 1970 s I was a computer theater geek college student The ideas presented by John Brunner predicted the internet computer viruses government xperiments worse than Men Who Thought at Goats I was fascinated I had never read anything like it Reading it 45 years on I cannot believe how much he got right This story could still be part of our future And on a side note I would love to meet the person in Wisconsin who named a haflinger horse Nick. One man has made it his mission to liberate the mental prisoners to restore their freedom in a world run madNickie Halflinger the only person to scape from Tarnover where they raise hyper intelligent children. Ie At least one person got the joke I think the futuristic lingo is a little over done makes it a bit difficult to is a little over done makes it a bit difficult to than it has to be he is painting a very scary look at a future that is now here in very many ways This is pretty remarkable when the main thrust is a computerized society that was only beginning in 1975 the Internet was a twinkling in ARPANet s juvenile ye Well worth reading I ve recently re read one of my favourite SF novels from the 1970s John Brunner s The Shockwave Rider and it has than lived up to Apocalyptic Cartography expectationsOkay like any book using future technology it gets some things wrong Itsarly 21st century tech is mostly too advanced but then they still use tapes to store information However this book absolutely sizzles with ideas some taken from Alvin Toffler s far ffective readable futurology book Future ShockJust one xample the protagonist is in the business of creating digital worms to make changes to the net At the time 1975 not only was ARPANet the internet s predecessor very limited the first actual network worm wouldn t be launched for another 13 years Brunner originated the term in this novelBrunner also creates a stunning dystopian society where the US governmentmajor corporations hand in hand manipulate what could in principle be an A Bride for McCain exercise inffective distributed democracy the public Delphi boards
to suggest to problems and predict outcomes to keep the population in checkThere s far to it than this and though the Heart and Soul / Almost Heaven ending wraps things up a little too neatly I m afraid the bad guys would almost certainly have won this remains a brilliant net based SF novelEven better it comes here with two other Brunner novels as a bonus I read this in a SF Gateway collection I couldn t find here The Traveller in Black is a short fantasy novel a little vague for my liking but still rather nicelyxplains the disappearance of magic from the world The Sheep Looks Up generally gets better reviews than Shockwave Rider and it certainly tries to do something grandiose but for me it s not as good a story Even so it s another xample of Brunner doing something original and showing that science fiction should not be confined to a ghettoBrunner is now a largely forgotten author but he really shouldn t #be TSR is not a plot book and it is also not a character book but it IS an idea # TSR is not a plot book and it is also not a character book but it IS an idea Brunner was ahead of the curve or the shockwave on so many things and managed to write about the modern Internet in 1975 anticipating terms like bandwidth and computer worm This is great social SF The Shockwave Rider is a book before its time published in 1975 the book provides a vision for the future of computer networks today The term Web was used in this book years before the Web as we know it merged A riveting story of freeman vs Big Brother society which contains the classic values of privacy still being debated vigorously today Com. To maintain the political dominance of the USA in the 21st century – is on the run dodging from loophole to crevice to crack in the computerised data net that binds the continent like chains After years of.used to suggest