Quick Thought On John Brunner’s Timely Dystopias

It seems odd to me that in this damned year of our Lord 2021 the big dystopian novels of John Brunner haven’t had a renaissance. Whereas the classic dystopias of Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four concern (very generally) socialist nightmare states Brunner focussed on capitalist futures in all their ugliness (Overpopulation, pollution, commercialisation, computer viruses etc).

His aren’t dystopias of terrifying control but rather of terrifying disregard. He was more scared of governments wearing blinkers than touting surveillance cameras. And looking around at our current climate issues, maybe he was right. Heck, The Sheep Look Up even features a moronic president prone to crass and bigoted pronouncement.

We’re in a John Brunner world. Maybe his novels haven’t had a resurgence for precisely that reason…

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