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The Wrong End of Time by John Brunner

The Wrong End of Time (1971)

by John Brunner

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This is a fascinating story of what society in the U.S. becomes at some point in the future, and it isn't a pretty picture.

The amazing (and a bit frightening) thing is that this was written 40+ years ago, and many aspects of the society described in the book either have or are well on their way to coming to fruition. ( )
  grandpahobo | Mar 22, 2015 |
Typical extrapolation of Cold War era tensions and claustrophobia into the near future. There's mention of aliens found "near Pluto", but all the action is in a coastal area of the USA, between Earthlings. Not much science, some use of psychic abilities. Very reminiscent of the style and subject of many Philip K. Dick works. Interesting to read almost 40 years on, comparing the author's thoughts on societal trends with how things have actually developed. He got some things right, many wrong. ( )
1 vote klh | Dec 30, 2010 |
The wrong end of time is another of John Brunner's attempts to use science fiction to reflect on the society of the day. In this book, as in others, he follows the social trends of the time to their logical conclusions. He portrays the future America as a fortress state, loudly proclaiming its superiority to the rest of the world while paranoidly sealing its borders to it. In the book, a Soviet agent attempts to infiltrate the true powerbrokers in America (government contractors rather than the government) to start a dialogue on how to deal with newly contacted ailens.

The aliens in this book are a MacGuffin. They exist only to give the story impetus. The real plot hinges around an exploration of this future society and the impact it will have on individuals and on the larger scale.

Brunner hits some interesting points in this book and regular readers will experience that 'how did he forsee that so accurately' feeling more than once, but it is not one of his stronger works. Many aspects of it are replicated in his better known books and reading it felt a little bit like reading a practice run for his much stronger novel 'The Sheep Look Up'. ( )
1 vote Sassm | Nov 15, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Brunnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foss,ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sternbach, RickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Absolute calm, though not absolute stillness."
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Born at this wrong end of time so that he can sense things that haven't happened yet is Danty Ward, a black ""reb"" in an America in the hands of the military industrial complex, Energetics General, and no less safe from the prejudices within or the pressures without (the East Bloc). It is Danty then who vibes to the infiltration of alien Sheklov and then proves via self-destruct that the old ...
More-fashioned virtue of self-sacrifice is still valid. Not the personal undertow of the earlier Quicksand but the things that haven't happened yet ring contemporary changes on tomorrow.
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