First Impressions of ‘The Shockwave Rider’ by John Brunner

Quote taken from IRC past 01:30 BST. Do not engage my critical faculties at this time, as I’m sure they’re sharper after midnight than before it.

[Ginja_] I’m still thinking hard about The Shockwave Rider.
[Steerpike] What about it?
[Ginja_] Just the way it has dated, and yet still feels more cutting edge than most recent SF novels I’ve read.
[Ginja_] I mean the book is about about wikileaks in places if you read it with a modern mind, there’s no doubt about that, as it is very prescient. But it’s alleged cyberpunk connection is very thin, not that I can’t see the influence it might have had, but it feels like an echo from the past now.
[Ginja_] A rotten apple. Something that was once very delicious, and still should be, but has gone off because of time.
[Ginja_] http://will-ellwood.com/2010/05/some-thoughts-about-sf/ Scroll to the section from Cheap Truth
[Ginja_] Classic SF dates almost by design. It is a classic because it was so mind changing when published.

‘The Shockwave Rider’ was written in 1975, and is about predictive markets, computer worms and freedom of information amongst other big ideas which the book is stuffed with. I had wanted to read this novel for ten years, at least since I first read Neuromancer, and I was slightly disappointed as my expectations of the novel were false. Which is sometimes, you know, a damn good thing. The book has my guarded recommendation, as you will enjoy it, or at least gain something from the book, as long as you remember that it was published in 1975, and that it is written in a very fragmented and disjointed style which may or may not work for you as a reader.

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