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The Shockwave Rider (1975)

av John Brunner

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,396219,845 (3.84)42
A Science Fiction Book Club Selection "When John Brunner first told me of his intention to write this book, I was fascinated -- but I wondered whether he, or anyone, could bring it off. Bring it off he has -- with cool brilliance. A hero with transient personalities, animals with souls, think tanks and survival communities fuse to form a future so plausibly alive it has twitched at me ever since." -- Alvin Toffler Author of Future Shock He Was The Most Dangerous Fugitive Alive, But He Didn't Exist! Nickie Haflinger had lived a score of lifetimes...but technically he didn't exist. He was a fugitive from Tarnover, the high-powered government think tank that had educated him. First he had broken his identity code -- then he escaped. Now he had to find a way to restore sanity and personal freedom to the computerized masses and to save a world tottering on the brink of disaster. He didn't care how he did it...but the government did. That's when his Tarnover teachers got him back in their labs...and Nickie Haflinger was set up for a whole new education!… (mer)
  1. 01
    State Tectonics (The Centenal Cycle) av Malka Older (jsburbidge)
    jsburbidge: Similar concerns with the establishment if muctodemocracy using extended send publicly available networking.
  2. 02
    Nittonhundraåttiofyra av George Orwell (freetrader)
    freetrader: A lot of the novel feels like 1984. Less grim of course. Also 1984 is mentioned at some point in the discussion.
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engelska (20)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (21)
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Although I really liked some of Brunner's other dystopian novels, this one didn't really capture my attention. The structure of his previous works is repeated here, with many short chapters, varied perspectives and characters, but I didn't feel engrossed in the story like I did with "Sheep" and "Zanzibar." It also took me quite a while to get through the book, but I persisted since other reviewers noted that it became more engaging after the first section, which it did, but still not enough for me to really enjoy it. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Brunner explicitly cribs his milieu from Alvin Toffler's "Future Shock" which purported to predict technological and social advances from the seventies onward.
As with most 20th-century science fiction, quite a bit has come to pass, although not in exactly the way Toffler and Brunner imagined.
The literary content of the book is relatively high, for the time and expectations; although designed to disrupt traditional patterns of fiction, as was the vogue in the seventies, it is not incomprehensible.
The characters have more character than the older pulp fiction cardboard cutouts, and the personal crises and relationships are engaging.
The goal is Utopian, and the outcome overly optimistic, in the context of what actually happened in the world to date, but ya gotta have a dream. ( )
  librisissimo | Jan 13, 2020 |
Well, once more Mr. Brunner, sometimes a city planner has shown us the future in advance. But in 1975, this was entertainment. The twenty-first century has made it manifest. A world of hacking computer networks for survival, of cyber war and soulless multi-nationals is navigated with some success by s survivor of a eugenics program, or a metaphor for everyman. Just in case you don't recognize this place as our world, well... I can't help you. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 27, 2015 |
I suspect that many readers who pick up science fiction that's more than a couple of decades old get the urge to consider whether the author got the future "right." I'm not exactly sure that John Brunner did in "The Shockwave Rider," but that doesn't mean that his book isn't interesting for other reasons. He foresaw a data-dominated future full of constant, accelerated change, gladiatorial entertainments, ruthless tribalism, rampant consumerism, class war, and hockey fandom. Some of this did, I suppose, come to pass, but not in the way that Brunner anticipated: his computer revolution seems more analog and top-down than our current Web, though bits of "The Shockwave Rider" also seem to foreshadow Edward Snowden's paranoia-inducing revelations. The novel also has a few problems from the literary point of view: the book's most important female protagonist struck me as too quirky to be remotely realistic, and while the novel's plot gets a good, tense hum going in the first few chapters, it gets figuratively and literally off-tack when its main characters end up in what looks like an updated version of a Neo-Luddite hippie colony. Brunner's decision to shift around between viewpoints and include some random media artifacts in his text, however, seems appropriate: his slightly fractured style conveys the feeling of living in a very fractured society well enough.

The best reason to read "The Shockwave Rider," though, is that Brunner seems to be asking the right questions here, even if he seems to have gotten a few of the future's particulars wrong. He worries about the overstimulation that comes with modern life and the speeding-up that living in a highly computer-dependent society might entail. This hectic experience seems to unmoor many of his characters from their most basic thought processes and desires: in a way, this book is both a warning and a plea for sanity. I don't think that Brunner offers too many solutions here, per se: his off-the-grid solution seems a bit too much like a liberal-arts fantasy, but he makes a good argument that too much noise, too much change, too much speed, and too much data, too much anything, really, can be dangerous to the self. I can't call "The Shockwave Rider" a classic, but there's certainly enough here to make it worth your while. ( )
3 rösta TheAmpersand | Oct 21, 2013 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Brunner, Johnprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Edwards, LesOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ely, CrestonOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Higgins, JohnOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pietrek, Klaus W.Efterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pukallus, HorstÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Tinkelman,MurrayOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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A Science Fiction Book Club Selection "When John Brunner first told me of his intention to write this book, I was fascinated -- but I wondered whether he, or anyone, could bring it off. Bring it off he has -- with cool brilliance. A hero with transient personalities, animals with souls, think tanks and survival communities fuse to form a future so plausibly alive it has twitched at me ever since." -- Alvin Toffler Author of Future Shock He Was The Most Dangerous Fugitive Alive, But He Didn't Exist! Nickie Haflinger had lived a score of lifetimes...but technically he didn't exist. He was a fugitive from Tarnover, the high-powered government think tank that had educated him. First he had broken his identity code -- then he escaped. Now he had to find a way to restore sanity and personal freedom to the computerized masses and to save a world tottering on the brink of disaster. He didn't care how he did it...but the government did. That's when his Tarnover teachers got him back in their labs...and Nickie Haflinger was set up for a whole new education!

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