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Norman Niblock House Is A Rising Executive At General Technics, One Of A Few All Powerful Corporations His Work Is Leading General Technics To The Forefront Of Global Domination, Both In The Marketplace And Politically It S About To Take Over A Country In Africa Donald Hogan Is His Roommate, A Seemingly Sheepish Bookworm But Hogan Is A Spy, And He S About To Discover A Breakthrough In Genetic Engineering That Will Change The World And Kill Him These Two Men S Lives Weave Through One Of Science Fiction S Most Praised Novels Written In A Way That Echoes John Dos Passos USA Trilogy, Stand On Zanzibar Is A Cross Section Of A World Overpopulated By The Billions Where Society Is Squeezed Into Hive Living Madness By God Like Mega Computers, Mass Marketed Psychedelic Drugs, And Mundane Uses Of Genetic Engineering Though Written In , It Speaks Of , And Is Frighteningly Prescient And Intensely PowerfulThis Edition Comes With A Tipped In Collectors Note And An Introduction By David Brin Reading this before discovering DosPassos U.S.A., I was mightily impressed by Brunner s originality of technique Discovering U.S.A., I was even impressed by DosPassos, of course, but did not fault Brunner s employment of the other s proven methods for painting an enormous, richly textured picture of a possible future.The book was anxiety provoking in 1969 The accuracy of many of Brunner s predictions makes one wonder about the increasingly large subgenre of science fiction books which are set in futures which have now happened This device has been employed, self consciously, in many books and movies of the alternative timestream variety, books such as The Iron Dream by Spinrad or movies such as Brazil or the recent Richard the Third But what about the naive products of the past What of their influences on us What of our avoidance of seeing the contrast between past anxieties upon reading such prognostications and present calm acceptance of such horrors I think, in this instance and in reference to Brunner s theme, of Haiti and the global misallocation of resources between first and third worlds which Haiti represents People are starving, really starving, because it is now profitable to make biofuels for the vehicles of the rich than it is to produce food The response is piddling charity and police repression And we see this, if we wish, live, on television, on the web We can talk to people over there, on the ground, amidst the riots, by cell phone Meanwhile, the trends towards ever greater accumulations of wealth and power, on the one hand, and ever wider immiseration, on the other, continue.Stand on Zanzibar is set at about now, at the time you may be reading this A subsequently set novel by Brunner, The Sheep Look Up, is also available and worth reading for many of the same reasons. Stand on Zanzibar is one of my favorite novels a Stand on Zanzibar is about overpopulation if the entire world s population were to stand on Zanzibar, it would sink.b Stand on Zanzibar is about information how is it processed what does it really mean c Stand on Zanzibar is about the evils and cupidity of corporatization it is about how a corporation may be able to do a good thing, despite itself.d Stand on Zanzibar is about the evils and stupidity of the State it provides many examples SCANALYZE brown nose is a casually derogatory term for blacks.CAST INCLUDES Norman House is a muslim african american and a ruthlessly ambitious rising star in General Technics in the early part of the novel, he acts quickly and sprays an amok terrorist s hand with liquid helium, causing it to freeze and then break off later in the novel, he is given de facto control of the african country of Beninia, which is being taken over by his company this book made me angry at times LOCATIONS INCLUDE Beninia has somehow remained a neutral refuge throughout its history it has resisted slavers, colonial forces, mass waves of immigrants, and many other external influences its people are malnourished, poorly housed, and only marginally educated there has not been a murder in Benina in over 15 years its residents do not have a phrase to explicitly describe losing your temper instead they use a phrase that means went temporarily insane once, several years ago, in a different village, a boy saw a man lose his temper while arguing with his wife everyone laughed at the man s outlandish behavior so silly and so strange i lose my temper it is one of my flaws i say terrible things sometimes PROFILE OF NOVEL Stand on Zanzibar was written by John Brunner in 1968 it is a New Wave science fiction novel about a future dystopia it won the Hugo Award in 1969 it won my heart and mind in 1990 i just reread it.PROFILE OF AUTHOR John Brunner has written over 50 books this novel was inspired by the cut up technique of John Dos Passos U.S.A Trilogy i was occasionally reminded of William S Burroughs and Kathy Acker and Robert Silverberg and William Gibson and the way my own mind processes information.PROFILE OF NOVEL according to my best friend wikipedia,Stand on Zanzibar was innovative within the science fiction genre for mixing narrative with entire chapters dedicated to providing background information and worldbuilding, to create a sprawling narrative that presents a complex and multi faceted view of the story s future world Such information rich chapters were often constructed from many short paragraphs, sentences, or fragments thereof pulled from sources such as slogans, snatches of conversation, advertising text, songs, extracts from newspapers and books, and other cultural detritus The result is reminiscent of the concept of information overloadSCANALYZE eptification is a process in which the government can turn an ordinary man into a trained assassin.CAST INCLUDES Donald Hogan is a white american and a synthesist a rather dilettante ish position paid for by the government, in which the practitioner studies patterns in the mass flow of information in the early part of the novel, his unwitting presence in a non white ghetto inadvertedly causes a riot in which hundreds are hurt and a helicopter pilot is beaten to death later in the novel, he is turned into a spy and sent to the angry country of Yatakang at times this book made me irritated and frustrated LOCATIONS INCLUDE Yatakang is a military dictatorship along the lines of modern day Pakistan it was once a part of the Philippines, which is now called Isola Yatakang hates the U.S and is on the verge of U.S sponsored revolution Yatakang is home to a brilliant and humane geneticist this brilliant geneticist may be able to create super children i am half Filipino i do not want children, super or otherwise 1 due to overpopulation, nearly the entire world has severe restrictions around giving birth people are obsessed with genetic make up if you have flaws in your genetic make up, you are not allowed to have children.2 overpopulation ennui a lifetime of frustration can equal many things, including the potential for murder rape incest did you know that this book made me laugh a lot a great sense of humor malevolent, merciless, mordant wit my favorite Stand on Zanzibar can be an off putting experience many people do not like it some find it challenging some find it boring some find it frustrating it does not take it easy on the reader it throws a lot of things the reader s way the reader is given a mass amount of information to digest can the reader find patterns in this information does the reader even care CAST INCLUDES Shalmaneser is an all knowing computer created by General Technics is Shalmaneser growing consciousness SCANALYZE shiggies are a common type of lady to be specific, they are attractive, upscale, vaguely whorish young women with no permanent residence they move or are passed on from guy to guy to guy guys share shiggies most young women appear to be shiggies unless they are daughters, wives, or business leaders.CAST UPDATE Norman and Donald are roommates one is full of cold anger and the other is full of passive idleness they toke up together they share shiggies Norman likes the scandinavian babes and Donald likes the black hotties the two go to a jail and then to a party together the two have great and terrible things in store for them later, they actually become friends sorta what is friendship anyway does anyone really know anyone CAST INCLUDES Begi is a Beninian folk figure he is a trickster of sorts he exists to punish the greedy, the pretentious, and other assorted pricks and assholes i have too many favorite scenes in this novel to count my favorite may be the riot or it may be a party that turns out to be a colossal fail another favorite may be the scene in which a trained assassin takes down a mucker SCANALYZE muckers run amok overpopulation and other factors drive them insane that insanity endows them with the strength of many and causes them to seek the immediate death of everyone around them they are a sign of the times sometimes, in crowds, i feel like running amok but i don t whew i have a Goodreads friend who didn t care for this book he said the plot didn t start for over a 100 pages and all the random snippets of information became wearisome sometimes i read his reviews and i wonder my God, does he even like readingstill, his opinion is a valuable one to me CAST INCLUDES GT Buckfast Eric Ellerman Chad Mulligan Poppy Shelton Guinevere Steel Sheena Frank Potter Arthur Golightly Stal Lucas Sasha Philip Peterson Victor Mary Whatmough Elihu Masters Gerry Lindt Dr Sugaiguntung President Zadkiel Obomi Jogajong Olive Almerio Grace Rowley Pierre Jeannine Clodard Jeff Young Henry Butcher Bennie Noakes all of these characters have POV chapters by the time the novel ends, ten are dead do you want to live forever the constant racist language against asians really bothered me is this because i am half asian the novel itself is not racist quite the opposite CAST INCLUDES Bronwen Ghose does not have a POV chapter if i have one critique, it is that Bronwen in particular deserved one a moving character, and a very appealing, very attractive one as well.PROFILE OF AUTHOR John Brunner also wrote a book called The Sheep Look Up i love that title Mr and Mrs Everywhere go everywhere just for you watch them from the comfort of your living room, on your television they look just like you SCANALYZER SCANALYZE Stand on Zanzibar should be read carefully, over time there is too much going on, so you should go slow i think if you read it too fast It May Become Like A Long Night With Too Much Coke And Too Many People And You Are Almost About To Lose It But You Don t Have Anywhere To Go So You Just Do Another Line And All Of A Sudden It Is Too Much But All You Can Do Is Smile Smile Smile And It Begins To Hurt And Your Brain Begins To Hurt And You Feel Like Freaking Out And Crying Stand on Zanzibar should be read quickly like a big rush of information just let it sweep all over you because you know that s what life is anyway just a big rush of random and not random information so just take it all in like a good little sheep and maybe the information will eventually have some meaning or maybe not.Stand on Zanzibar has a happy ending that is, if you consider an ending where view spoiler one protagonist is basically insane after being brainwashed by the government and the other protagonist learns that the only way to stop humans from being ferociously aggressive animals is to tamper with them genetically hide spoiler Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner is an amazing book First of all, the title comes from the idea of putting all the people on the planet in one place A nineteenth century commentator speculated that if everyone were to stand, and have maybe a couple feet square around him or her, then everyone could stand together on the Isle of Wight Some time later this concept was expanded due to population increases to speculate that the same experiment could be done on the Isle of Man Brunner, setting his novel in the not too distant future of 2010, extrapolated that then, with population continuing to expand exponentially, the gathering would need to be conducted on the African island of Zanzibar.Stand on Zanzibar uses a narrative technique pioneered by the Lost Generation novelist John Dos Passos in his USA trilogy Brunner used a cacophony of voices and characters, news bulletins, and illustrative sketches and a large cast of characters and settings to create an experience of out of control, inevitable and relentless over population Winner of the 1969 Hugo Award, this is a thought provoking, dystopian tour de force that can overwhelm the reader, but through masterful crafting, stays on track and has a satisfying, if not disheartening end Eclipsed by other dystopian novels like Brave New World and 1984, this is nonetheless a worthy entry in that list.I have long been a fan of writers like Philip K Dick and William Gibson who bravely set their stories in the near future and there could even be an ever growing sub genre of science fiction whose vision has now become contemporary Brunner has done an admirable job in contemplating a time, only 40 odd years in his future where over population and increasing poverty are progressing at an alarming rate Most alarming to me was Brunner s prophetic ideas of muckers those people who have run amok and go on mass murder killing sprees Brunner s vision is not without hope, but his predictions fall too close to home to go without notice, and hopefully, with some contemplation. This psychedelic novel, is set in the far distant future, 2010 When we can look forward to picture phones, holographic t.v sets , Moon bases looking down on the poor, struggling, threatened Earth, and battery powered cars everywhere, can t wait but no cell phones or internet, the book was written in 1968, which shows how useless forecasting the future is, if the obvious has to be stated again The happening man is Mr.Norman Niblock House, he lives in a domed Manhattan, the rest of New York City s citizens, are not important enough to have that structure, is this a Republic Busy Norman works as an executive and only black man, for General Technical Corporation, G T to its loyal and not so loyal employees and still run by the legendary founder Georgette Tallon Buckfast , a sprightly, 91 year old Donald Hogan is his rather lethargic, mysterious , intellectual roommate, the city, much overcrowded, who apparently from an unknown source of income, somehow has plenty of money That era s mad prophet Chad C.Mulligan, a best selling writer, read by millions of people, real books too trouble is, no one follows Mulligan s advice, so the wealthy, disgusted man drops out, and becomes a street winoYes, he is rather weird , things are not perfect in the second decade, of the 21st century, the endless Vietnam War, is going on after 50 year , also the draft, the population bomb has finally arrived, and crime rates have increased to unprecedented levels, anarchy prevails The Earth is dying slowly, a sad end for the former, magnificent, blue planet, Donald disappears and Chad reappears, not to worry though, Shalmaneser, G T s , powerful computer, that doesn t make mistakes, they believe will come to the rescue, and the all knowing machine will save the dayAn American diplomat, stationed in the little west African state of Beninia, I haven t heard of it either, my friends comes up with a scheme to take over that impoverished country, in all but name and bring prosperity to Beninia this, right after the end of oppressive, colonialism in Africa Plus a nice little profit to the great corporation , being strictly a business deal only, they re not a charity organization, Norman becomes head of the project in Africa, as an African American, it looks appropriate, to the rest of the world Mr House has a vast amount of reading to do, though, too bad there is no internet or cell phones in this alternative future, the job would be a whole lot easier, all those books to carry around A product of its time, but still a terrific novel, worth reading, a fascinating glimpse of what could have been..