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The jagged orbit (Book, ) []

Once the collection came out from Ace in April , Dick in a letter to fellow writer, John Jakes, remarks again on his editor at Ace:. He makes me look better than I am. The first edition in the United Kingdom was a hardback from Gollancz in Feb Many editions have followed through the years.

Terry Carr did, indeed, do a good job. Philip K.

It is a very strange one. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. New Am Ace Books, Hardcover. Ace Bo Search for all books with this author and title.

by Brunner, John

Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. The Jagged Orbit John Brunner. Published by Orion Pub Co New Softcover Quantity Available: 1. Seller Rating:. Xavier Conroy represents the voice of reason, and serves as a Brunner mouthpiece a role filled by Chad C. Mulligan in Zanzibar , and Austin Train in Sheep. But Brunner is far too canny a writer to allow his characters to wrest away his control of the narrative as Heinlein's characters often did.

Brunner clearly has an agenda, but the didacticism never gets too heavy-handed.

The Jagged Orbit (Gollancz Collectors' Editions)

In fact, Brunner frequently undercuts the authority of Conroy, and takes pains to make him a realistically flawed character. Flamen joins forces with Lyla Clay, Xavier Conroy, exiled knee propagandist Pedro Diablo, and Harry Madison, a knee mental patient with a gift for electronics engineering. As the country teeters on the brink of open racial warfare, they investigate the connections between the Gottschalk gun cartel, Dr. Mogshack, and the interference with Flamen's spoolpigeon show. Unfortunately, the finale hinges upon not one, but two instances of deus ex machina : a time-travelling robot and a character who can telekinetically influence broadcast transmissions.

While these flaws dull the impact of the climax, they don't dilute the optimism of the novel's epilogue -- perhaps the most generously hopeful conclusion of Brunner's awful warnings. The Jagged Orbit is usually regarded as the weakest of the four awful warnings.

Perhaps this is because it lacks the focused hook of the other novels. Racism, gun violence, drugs, dependence on computers, and mental health figure as key issues in Jagged Orbit , but none really captures centre stage. The novel's central theme is really the more ambiguous concept of isolation: how technology can be used to create and exploit rifts between people.

John Brunner

The ensemble cast and a multi-threaded plot signature elements of Brunner's style weave together in a way that reinforces the novel's thematic movement from isolation to unification. Critics also suggest that The Jagged Orbit hasn't aged as well as Brunner's other works. True, its depiction of a United States separated into racially divided city-states more closely represents the anxieties of the lates than the current racial climate, where most of the questions swirl around integration rather than separation.

However, Brunner's insight into gun violence, drug abuse, and our over-reliance upon technology still feels relevant.

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Brunner's four awful warnings received high praise. Zanzibar won the Hugo. Shockwave Rider gets credited for being the first novel to predict computer viruses. Sheep is regarded as the one of the best speculative novels about the effects of environmental pollution.