John Brunner- A brag.

Discussion in 'Classic SF&F' started by J-WO, May 23, 2010.

  1.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    This seemed about the best place to announce this. Apologies to moderators if I'm wrong. Anyway-

    I am the proud owner of John Brunner's electric typewriter. (Insert a J-Wovian squee here). Oxfam were selling it on Ebay and I dived in there and got very lucky indeed.

    Mr Brunner used it between the mid/late sixties and for the better part of the seventies. He always had a couple of typewriters at any one time, but this was his most used during that period. Some of my favourite novels of all time were almost certainly written or part-written upon it. To repeat- squee.

    I keep looking at the thing, dammit. On the back there's a dymo sticker saying 'Brunner Fact and Fiction LTD' and another above the keys that reads-

    'NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPIDITY OF EDITORS'

    I'd love to get the thing running again (are Smith Corona still in existence?) but I'm not sure that's remotely possible. But more than that, I'd like his widow to know that its found a good home. Scratch that--Shrine.

    Brag over.

    (And Squee)
  2.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    It occurs to me you may think I'm lying. Its been known. Over the next few days I'll try to find a camera and stick some photos on me blog.

    I thank you.
  3.  
    chopper

    chopper still alive

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    lie? to us? shurely not! but photos, yes, to share the ineffable squee-ness of your moment.....

    i'm guessing it isn't working right now?
  4.  
    Culhwch

    Culhwch Not actually a dinosaur. Staff Member

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    Never heard of him... Not to harsh your squee, or anything.
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    clovis-man

    clovis-man Prehistoric Irish Cynic

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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    That's sounds like quite a good piece you've got there J-Wo.

    Some of Brunner's work is featured in the Masterwork series that is quite popular around here.
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    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    That's an awesome writer's talisman to have. Brunner's one of the good ones.
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    Ian Whates

    Ian Whates Author and Editor

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    Good Lord, Cul, you actually mean that, don't you??? :eek:

    At Worldcon in Glasgow (2005) they had a panel in John Brunner's memory. To give you some idea of his status, those discussing him included Christopher Priest, Brian Aldiss, Joe Haldeman and Robert Silverberg.

    Brunner wrote three widely revered Dystopian novels (including the Hugo winner Stand on Zanzibar) and many others that are all but overlooked these days, though among these 'lesser' works were a dozen or more fabulous novels, including The Long Result, The Dreaming Earth, The Dramaturgists of Yan, Children of the Thunder, Telepathist, etc.

    He was a fabulous author, who wrote well even at his worst. I remember how saddened I was when he died (while he was attending a previous Worldcon, fittingly).
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    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

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    He's also credited with the invention, in The Shockwave Riders, of quite a few computer-related concepts that are in common use today - including the computer worm, electronic voting, and the Internet....

    John Brunner: Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
  10.  
    Culhwch

    Culhwch Not actually a dinosaur. Staff Member

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    Ah, I have heard of Stand on Zanzibar. May have to see if my library has it, then, if he's won the admiration of such fine folks as yourselves...
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    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    I'm tempted to get a kettle lead and plug the thing in to the mains. But I suspect its been more than a decade (at least) since its had electricity pumping through it*. So maybe I should hunt out a qualified... er... whoever fixes old electric typewriters. Then there's the matter of Ink cartridges, too.

    But if aficionados are forever renovating classic cars and guitars, why not typing equipment?


    *Chrons announcement- 'Forum user J-WO killed by Zanzibar Typewriter'- what way to go...
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, there's probably someone out there who could repair the thing and get it up and running again... the cost, however, may be quite another thing....

    At any rate, congratulations on this... as JP said, an awesome writer's talisman indeed.

    And yes, Brunner was one of the most literate, eloquent, and erudite sf writers around, with a host of works well worth mentioning... even his lesser pieces nearly all have something to recommend them (at least, all I've ever encountered, from Meeting at Infinity to The Dreaming Earth... despite something of a letdown of an ending). His short piece, "Judas", in Ellison's anthology Dangerous Visions remains a rather powerful commentary on religion and technology, despite having been published more than 40 years ago. And as for said "dystopian trilogy"... that entire set is one heck of an achievement: Stand on Zanzibar, The Jagged Orbit, and The Sheep Look Up tend to stand out in a myriad of ways (The Sheep Look Up was not only one of the most powerful sf novels of the time, but has also been picked as one of the 100 best horror books of all time... and in each case it is richly deserved). His translation of GĂ©rard Klein's Les Seigneurs de la Guerre (as The Overlords of War) is quite a fascinating piece, as well....
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    HE HE... I didn't think it would take you too long to list the man's achievements J.D....;)

    I've only got Stand on Zanzibar myself. I have Ellison's anthology for Dangerous Visions so I'll check that short story out.

    Sound like I would want to chase up a copy of The Sheep Look Up then.
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    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    One of the things about Sheep is how eerily accurate its prediction of now is. Sometimes it feels like you're reading a contemporary, mainstream novel--except with the environmental damage turned up to eleven.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't help but think of that novel these days when I see an increasing number of people wearing those face masks/air filters. I first began to see that happening about 15 years ago, when working in a grocery store... that is, first began to see it in anyone outside of those with a severe respiratory problem. Now, while it is by no means common yet, I do see it more and more... and the novel's chilling use of that incident constantly comes to mind....
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    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    PICT0025.JPG


    Thar she be...

    Forgive my poor camera skills.
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    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    img027.jpg


    And this is a pamphlet I got with it. Its got a biog and list of his works up until 1970. Fantastic stuff. If I can work some high-definition voodoo, I'll be sure to scan a legible copy.
  18.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    BsEOyQwEWkKGrHqQH-EEu2dFMhPBL2Z6VQ9e_12.JPG

    Here's a much better picture taken by Oxfam. Brunner's note to self is clearly visible.
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Cool....just give me a magnifying glass and I'll be fine....;)

    Joking aside, a very fine item; well done!
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed; thank you for posting those. I'd love to have a look at that pamphlet sometime. Does it have a title, and what was the publication date (if any)?

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