Jad Smith’s John Brunner isn’t a Forgotten Book (it was just published), but it does explore the impact of an unjustly forgotten writer–John Brunner–and his forgotten oeuvre of great books. Smith discusses Brunner’s early, pulpish work (still readable to me!) and the works ACE Books published for a decade. Then, Smith turns to Brunner’s more ambitious, challenging and longer works like his Hugo-Award winning Stand on Zanzibar (1968) which deals with our planet’s population crisis. Brunner borrowed narrative techniques from John Dos Passos to communicate the scope of his story. My favorite John Brunner novel is The Jagged Orbit (1969) where urban life deteriorates because of unlimited guns (sound familiar?) and increasing violence. If haven’t read any of John Brunner’s works, Jad Smith gives you a nice guide to where to start.
University of Illinois Press plan forthcoming books on Gregory Benford, Alfred Bester, Ray Bradbury, Lois McMaster Bujold, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Greg Egan, William Gibson, Joe Haldeman, China Miéville, and Connie Willis. If they’re as good as Jad Smith’s John Brunner I’ll be buying them all.