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Stand on Zanzibar (1968)

by John Brunner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,923433,907 (3.92)155
"Originally published in 1968, Stand on Zanzibar was a breakthrough in science fiction storytelling technique, and a prophetic look at a dystopian 2010 that remains compelling today. Corporations have usurped democracy, ubiquitous information technology mediates human relationships, mass-marketed psychosomatic drugs keep billions docile, and genetic engineering is routine. Universal in reach, the world-system is out of control, and we are all its victims...and its creator"--Cover p. [4].… (more)

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review of
John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - November 12, 2014

The full review of this is "too long". Here's the link to the full version: "Being Eaten By Sharks Off The Coast Of Zanzibar":

I started reading Brunner bks in February of 2013. Sometime thereafter I went to Wonder Books in Frederick, MD, wch has an excellent SF selection, & I took a list of the, at that time, 9 Brunner bks I already had. The idea was to get everything by him that i cd find that I didn't already have. That resulted in some accidental duplication. Now, in November, 2014, 19 mnths later, I've finished the last of the Brunner's so acquired - my 46th of his that I've read.

Reading The Sheep Look Up was one of the main Brunners I read (in August, 2013 - my review's here: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/344636-a-review-of-john-brunner-s-ecological... ) that made me want to read MORE. According to David Brin's introduction to the edition I have of that one Stand on Zanzibar (1968), The Sheep Look Up, & Shockwave Rider (1975) are often associated as a trilogy of sorts.

I put off reading Stand on Zanzibar partially b/c of Brin's association of it w/ The Sheep Look Up & partially b/c when I started reviewing Brunner bks a GoodReads reader suggested Stand on Zanzibar as one of the best ones.

ANYWAY, yep, now I've read it, it was great &, uh, I don't really feel like spending too much time on reviewing it.. I'm burnt out on Brunner (& reviewing in general).. It starts off w/ a quote from Marshall McLuhan. I've never read any McLuhan but, somehow, whenever I run across a quote from him.. it annoys me.. Here's a chunk of the quote:

"["]A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. As Innis got more insight he abandoned any mere point of view in his presentation of knowledge. When he interrelates the development of the steam press with 'the consolidation of the vernaculars' and the rise of nationalism and revolution he is not reporting anybody's point of view, least of all his own.["]" - p vii

Maybe Brunner starts the bk off w/ this as a way of philosophically explaining the novel's structure in wch there're multiple viewpoints presented as a way of giving a more rounded-out picture of the hypothetical future of the novel. Ok - but I find McLuhan's position ridiculous. If Innis, whoever he or she may be, has managed to not present a point of view then they must've fragmented into multiple perceivers, become more than one person - wch I don't think is what McLuhan's implying. He's outright saying that he believes in objectivity - wch, to me, means being able to absorb info w/o having a place that absorbs it. McLuhan puts forth the omniscient position that pompous con artists have been using for entirely too long. Regardless, McLuhan's position doesn't pollute the novel for me since it seems so stupidly irrelevant.

Like an Establishing Shot in moviemaking, Brunner's novelistic structure gives the broader context. In The Sheep Look Up there's a short section near the beginning called "Sings of the Times" wch includes things like:


NOT Drinking Water


that show how advanced pollution is. Stand on Zanzibar has a similar early section where the reader's introduced to various important elements whose initial presentation is tantalizing:

"For toDAY third of MAY twenty-TEN ManhatTEN reports mild spring-type weather under the Fuller Dome. Ditto on the General Technics Plaza.

"But Shalmaneser is a Micryogenic" [registered trademark] "computer bathed in liquid helium and it's cold in his vault.

"(DITTO Use it! The mental process involved is exactly analogous to the bandwidth-saving technique employed for your phone. If you've seen the scene you've seen the scene and there's too much new information for you to waste time looking it over more than once. Use "ditto"/ Use it!
The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan" - p 3

The reader is provided quotes from the fictional Mulligan's bks to provide a critical viewpoint of the society. "The Hipcrime Vocab" (also quoted on p 41, etc) is one of them as is You're an Ignorant Idiot (quoted on p 32, etc), You: Beast (73-79), Better ? than ? (124-127).. In one character's case, he's disciplined in the military for even having a copy of a Mulligan bk:

"The captain stopped opposite Gerry and turned around the book Arthur had given him so he could read the title.

""The Hipcrime Vocab," the captain said. "Put him under arrest, sergeant—possession of subversive literature."" - p 145

What little I'd read about Stand on Zanzibar before actually reading it emphasized that it's centered around human overpopulation. It was 1st published in 1968 & it's set in the early 21st century. I've been alive during both times.

I don't recall Stand on Zanzibar explicitly stating a yr but there's this:

""What's the theme of this forfeits party, by the way?"

"Hm?" Pouring himself another slug of whiskey, Donald turned his head. "Oh—twentieth century."

""Talk and behave in period, is that the idea?" On Donald's nod: "Sort of stupid thing you'd expect from her, isn't it?"

""Of course it's stupid," Donald agreed, only half his mind on what he was saying. "She lives so obsessively in the here-and-now she probably thinks the twentieth century was a solid arbitrary chunk of thought and behaviour. I doubt if she remembers she was in it herself a decade ago. So we'll have people around saying 'twenty-three skiddoo!' and 'give me some skin daddy-o!' and wearing niltops with New Look skirts all in one hopeless, helpless bungle."" - p 68

[For those of you who're too young to 'get' this: it's a conflation of eras widely separated in multiple senses.]

That places the story as starting around 2009 (or 2010 at the latest). According to Geohive ( http://www.geohive.com/earth/his_history3.aspx ) 1968's world population was "3,541,674,891" - I'll take their word for it but, surely, that's ± quite a few million?! Again according to Geohive, 2009's world population was "6,834,721,933".

"["]What we can't cope with is seven billion competing members of our own species.["]" (p 424) Hence, Stand on Zanzibar's prediction for 2009 population is only 165,000,000 shy. Not bad.

"Donald stood in the empty room and thought of the thirteen million people all around him, the population of Greater New York." - p 94

What constitutes "Greater New York"? I'd usually think of 'Greater [insert name of any city]' as the city itself & its surrounding suburbs. However, Wikipedia says this: "The New York metropolitan area includes the most populous city in the United States (New York City); counties comprising Long Island and the Mid- and Lower Hudson Valley in the state of New York; the six largest cities in New Jersey (Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton, and Edison) and their vicinities; six of the seven largest cities in Connecticut (Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury) and their vicinities; and five counties in Northeast Pennsylvania." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_metropolitan_area ) Using that definition, Wikipedia goes on to state that "As per the 2013 United States Census Bureau estimates, the New York metropolitan area remains by a significant margin the most populous in the United States, by both the Metropolitan Statistical Area definition (19.9 million) as well as by the Combined Statistical Area definition (23.5 million)" thusly surpassing Brunner's extrapolation.

According to sources consulted while reading the bk, NYC's population as of 1968 was something like 7.9 million & as of 2013 was something like 8,405,837 - w/ Greater New York's 2014 population being 13 million. Considering this latter figure, Brunner's projection (taken, presumably, from other people's analysis) was close enough to correct. Is this cause for alarm? Most people, myself included, tend to think so. Where I live in Pittsburgh doesn't strike me as overcrowded - there's even still rm for deer to wander into my backyard. & turkeys. & groundhogs. & raccoons. & squirrels. & black snakes. But, yeah, humans are breeding & breeding some more - it's just so much damned fun (until the kids have to be raised & fed n'at - then it gets a bit more complicated, eh?!).

The title of Stand on Zanzibar is referenced 3 times throughout the bk as a way of illustrating how fast the population is growing:

""And to close on, the Dept of Small Consolations. Some troubledome just figured out that if you allow for every codder and shiggy and appleofmyeye a space one foot by two you could stand us all on the six hundred forty square mile surface of the island of Zanzibar.["]" - pp 9-10

W/in the short span of the novel the population has increased enuf for humanity to no longer fit on Zanzibar:

"Meanwhile, back at Planet Earth, it would no longer be possible to stand everyone on the island of Zanzibar without some of them being over ankles in the sea.

"(POPULATION EXPLOSION Unique in human experience, an event which happened yesterday but which everyone swears won't happen until tomorrow.
The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan" - p 508

"Also victims of muckers, rioting, sabotage, partisan activity, disease, overdose of drugs, accident, warfare, old age . . .


"Despite the foregoing, the human race by tens of thousands would be knee-deep in the water around Zanzibar." - p 648

Do you think insects worry about such things? Do you think they hearken back to the disappearance of the dinosaurs & hope to avoid the same fate?

& then there's the president. His name's "Obomi". Sound familiar? There's been some uproar amongst some people about the a certain 44th American President Obama whose father was from Africa. I'm clarifying this in case any future readers have never heard of the guy. President Obomi in the novel is president of an African country. Eerie, huh? Too bad Brunner didn't live long enuf to see this.

"Mr. President took a deep breath. He walked to the low table, picked up the Koran, and methodically shredded each of its pages into confetti. Later he ripped the leather binding down the spine.

"He turned on his heel, removed the crucifix from its peg, and snapped it across. The crucified one fell to the floor and he ground the doll-shape underfoot.

"He dragged from the wall each in turn of the masks. he tore away the coloured straw hair from them, poked out the jewelled eyes, broke loose the ivory teeth. He stabbed through the sounding heads of both the drums with one of the spears.

"The task complete, he turned off the light, left and locked the room, and at the first disposall chute he came to throw away the one an only key." - pp 13-14

Good riddance. But don't you worry, all you Fundaments out there, President Obama will never even remotely go this far. Speaking of Africa:

"(NEGRO Member of a subgroup of the human race who hails, or whose ancestors hailed, from a chunk of land nicknamed—not by its residents—Africa" - p 85

What DO natives of Africa call the continent? The African Executive provides this etymology: "The Kemmiu (ancient Egyptians) used the term Af-Rui-Ka to designate beginnings, referring to inner Africa, the place the ancestors of the ruling class came from, the so called "followers of Horus", who had invented metallurgy. Later the Romans latinized this word to 'Africa', and the adjective for Africa is 'Afer', which means 'black', 'dark'" ( http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=494 ). As far as I can tell, the current beef w/ the use of the word "Africa" is the way it seems to reduce a continent to being a single country.

Stand on Zanzibar targets many things, not the least of wch is corporate manipulativeness:

""What I think of him? Well, his papers are good!" (spoken judiciously, willing to make allowances) "but to my mind the man who has to wear MasQ-Lines is basically unsure of his own competence. They pad the frontal area you know."" - p 18

Brunner's work is full of interesting details:

""It has been more than a decade since the contents of the New York Public Library were actually in New York. Their exact location is now classified, but this has not reduced—rather, it has enhanced—user-access."

"The most versatile copying system ever developed is Eastman Kodak's Wholographik. Turn the print over, cut along the lines with ordinary scissors, distribute the pieces—and each of up to 24 sections will return up to 98% of the base information!" - p 36

We haven't gotten there YET. But we have gotten to cellphones & the internet:

"SUMMARY Occasionally when orbiting Bennie Noakes punches an encyclopedia connection on his phone and marvels at what it tells him" - p 38

Some recurring future vocabulary appears that I think is in other Brunner bks:

""I should have had more sense than to marry a block who'd only had a few clumsy highschool—" - p 43

I thought I'd read "block" in another Brunner bk but I can't find it now. Perhaps I'm confusing it w/ "kneeblank" wch is in Brunner's The Jagged Orbit (see my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/362701-the-jagged-o-r-bit ). I'm NOT confused that I'd encountered "synthesists" already:

"There were people, extremely top people, whom specialists tended to refer to disparagingly as dilettanti but who dignified themselves with the title "synthesist", and who spent their entire working lives doing nothing but making cross-references from one enclosed corner of research to another." - p 49

Note this from "The Fourth Power" story in Out of my Mind - from the Past, Present and Future (my review's here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15817692-out-of-my-mind ):

""Now Smith here has his head very nearly as full of knowledge as is conceivably possible. He's a synthesist. We've taken him and stuffed his mind full by every technique we can imagine: hypnosis, sleep-learning, tachistoscopic acceleration of uptake, drugs . . . . He's good. They're all good. But they aren't good enough.["]" - p 113

Is this the future of legalized pot in the USA?: Muslims will be stoners & Christians will be drunks? They'll still both be stupid:

"Being a Muslim, Norman refused to touch alcohol, but marijuana was traditionally socialized in the Muslim countries of Africa and he permitted himself to unwind the day's accumulated tension with a few reefers. Despite the excessive cost—every state which had legalized pot discriminated against that grown outside its own boundaries with a fierce tariff" p 63

Is the "fierce tariff" something else we have to look forward to? It seems only a matter of time before the government starts taking a big cut of 'medical marijuana' sales. Does anybody remember when the Reagan era initiated spraying pot w/ paraquat to make it unsalable?

"Paraquat (dipyridylium) is a highly toxic weed killer once promoted by the United States for use in Mexico to destroy marijuana plants. Research found that this herbicide was dangerous to workers who applied it to the plants." - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001085.htm

It seems to me that that's when pot prices started to skyrocket. Prior to that time, in 1977, I sold ounces of pot for $15. I only made $2 'profit' off each ounce & when one of my 'friends' stole an ounce I made no profit at all. Yes, yes, the pot wasn't strong but I liked it that way. Nowadays I will, no doubt, irritate potheads the world over by saying that it seems to me that pot smokers become largely passive dreamers instead of active do-ers. As such, I no longer advocate smoking it. What the heck, legalize it anyway - putting people in jail for pot-smoking is more of a crime that pot-smoking is.

"Using the earphones so as not to disturb them with her practicing, she began for the uncountableth time to rehearse a simple exercise with three beats in the left hand and five in the right." (p 87) Brunner's being sly here: 1. that 'simple exercise" is one that wd defeat most pop musicians, 2. there's something else happening here that I won't spoil for you.

Brunner has already endeared himself to me in many ways but here's one that's my acid test for many writers:

""Life in the Philippines had become intolerable well before the civil war of the 1980s. The state of things obtaining (which some accounts misname anarchy, but which any decent dictionary will tell you was nothing of the sort, but free-enterprise capitalism gone out of its skull)" - p 125

Thank you, John Brunner, for not misusing "anarchy" - unlike so many of yr fellow SF writers.

"A TRUE CREATIVE ARTIST IN THE FIELD OF COSMETIC SURGERY" (p 174) cd be sd to look forward to artists who've gotten surgically altered such as ORLAN & Breyer & P.Orridge.

Brunner's attn to detail always pleases me. "Cursing, he managed to focus his eyes on the wall-clock and saw it was only nine-thirty anti-matter." (p 201) In Brunner's future (my near-past as of this writing), AM becomes ""anti-matter" in slang & PM becomes "poppa-momma". This gives me the excuse to note that AM actually means Ante Meridiem & PM means Post Meridiem - w/ meridiem meaning mid-day. As such, neither of the 12 o'clocks can be either AM or PM or, rather, noon (mid-day) is meridiem & midnight is both AM & PM since it's equidistant from noon.

There's also new language: ""Pattiducking! Pattern generation and inductive reasoning!"" (p 265) Don't know whether Brunner coined this acronym but it seems somehow related to my own (mid 1970s) DUCSOB (describe ur current state of BING!).

Go here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/380819-being-eaten-by-sharks-off-the-coast-...
to read the remainder of this review.
( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
After reading and being thoroughly drawn into "The Sheep Look Up," I decided to pick up some of Brunner's other books; "Stand on Zanzibar" seemed to be the most prominent of his works.

In this one, the title refers to a projection that in the year 2010, the population of the world would be such that they could all stand, shoulder to shoulder, on the island of Zanzibar. In the novel, eugenics has been practiced for many years now, with rigorous genetic screening done before and after conception -- things like a family history of schizophrenia, diabetes, or blood disorders immediately disqualifies people from having children. Sterilization is mandated for carriers of serious genetic mutations, and even healthy adults are limited to three children, though the pervasiveness of hereditary problems makes this a rarity. The story follows two men, roommates in a New York apartment, one an African-American ("Afram") working as a vice president for the General Technics corporation, and one an independently wealthy WASP who spends his days fiddling around in the library gathering seemingly useless bits of information.

Overall, I didn't find this one to be as compelling as "Sheep." I did appreciate how the book kept cycling back to recap what had happened to each of the initially named characters from the beginning of the book, a tactic which helped to keep track of the many different players. I got a little lost in the middle with all the political machinations regarding Beninia; I found the interactions with the computer named Shal more and more intriguing as the book went on. The book is peppered with vignettes of society: a transcript of the news, description of a church service, conversations overheard at a party, excerpts from the works of a sociologist named Chad Mulligan -- who becomes an important character in the story; these short glimpses into a dystopian society are perhaps the most interesting parts of the book. Certainly many of them reflect attitudes and ideas that are present today.

"My education has turned me, and practically everyone else I know, into an efficient examination-passing machine. I wouldn't know how to be original outside the limited field of my own speciality, and the only reason I can make that an exception is that apparently most of my predecessors have been even more blinkered than I am. I know a thousand per cent more about evolution than Darwin did, that's taken for granted. But where between now and the day I die is there room for me to do something that's mine and not a gloss on someone else's work? Sure, when I get my doctorate the spiel that comes with it will include something about presenting a quote original unquote thesis, but what it'll mean is the words are in a different order from last time!" (48) ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
2010's world of 7 billion humans as seen from 1968.

This tour de force of world building combines broad strokes through media snapshots and a focus on a few characters. Much of John Brunner's vision has come true and much has not, and it's worth pondering what trends continued into the present confirming his predictions and what trends suffered discontinuities.

It's in the relationships between the main characters and particularly between the main characters and their "shiggies" that the difference between the prediction and the reality is most glaring but nevertheless, I am glad to have revisited this book because despite the gloomy atmosphere, it is fun. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Nov 5, 2020 |
A preliminary review - I am half way through this. To be updated.

I read this book a few years after it was published. I was a teenager and had been at least partly stewed in the more consciously 'literary' sf that had become prominent at the time, but my memory is that I found this book a real mind-blower, formally, and loved it overall.

Reading it some 45-ish years later is a different experience, of course. While still dipping into what I might call collage technique, the formal daring of the book is not nearly as evident (it's possiblemy perception of daring was mostly due to me not being that well read; however, I'd guess even many contemporary readers will find chunks of this novel oblique). The main narrative is fairly straightforward -- there's just a lot of ancillary matter that mostly fills out the world surrounding the main narrative.

Where the novel has most suffered, of course, has been in the straight "prediction" department. At the time, Brunner was extrapolating into the near future, and as this book has aged, so its image of what the 1970s, then 1980s, then 1990s and so on would be has proved inaccurate. It's hard to accuse him of committing "howlers" of prediction -- Brunner was a smart man -- but I doubt his correctness average is any better than, well, average: you won't find the Internet in this book, nor cell phones, nor ... and you WILL find a lot of stuff that never showed up. If this kind of thing bothers you, you might not have a very good time with this novel.

It's possible, of course, to read it as an "alternate history" of what the 1970s, et seq. COULD have been, though it was (as far as I know) never intended to be that.

Brunner's handling of dialogue has some ... oddities that I can't quite characterize yet and which make me less than happy. When I update this review I will try to touch on these more.

UPDATE: I have little to add upon finishing this novel. In re: the 'predictions' I've mentioned, while it is true that Brunner's future still contains phone booths, he quite correctly envisioned a united Europe (perhaps this was already in the air in the 1960s: I confess I have no knowledge of the history here).

While falling well short of my awed teenaged experience, my re-read of this book was for the most part an enjoyable experience. Decades of living have made me more sensitive to matters of gender inequality, and I have to confess Brunner doesn't strike me as particularly enlightened in that realm; moreover, it's difficult to really tease out the author's attitudes regarding race -- it's true that what amounts to a next step in human evolution occurs in a small African country, and that one of the two main characters is a brilliant and somewhat-well-fleshed-out character who happens to be "Afram," but ... well, I'd have to read it one more time, I think, before I could say much there.

Do I recommend it? Cautiously. Because the bulk of the book's impact as a "groundbreaking" work has, well, softened, I think the fact that the main stories -- there are two -- are embedded in such a welter of other stuff is more problematic, to me anyway, than it once was. The dazzling predictions, now revealed as having been just wrong, run the great risk of seeming quaint and even boring. Perhaps more editing would have made a better book? Certainly a different one. ( )
  tungsten_peerts | Sep 23, 2020 |
Some novels should only be read once. On my second read, I wanted to downgrade my estimation of the novel by a star.

I felt sad.

Sure. Shalmaneser was and still is my go-to model for a hell of a kick-ass supercomputer developing true intelligence and will, with all of it's concomitant problems, such as addiction and hallucination. (How very 1969 of a novel, Mr. Brunner.)

And yes, when I first read this back in 1990, I was surprised and oh so pleased by all the counterculture, drug use, clandestine exploration of assassination techniques, and heavy exploration of genetics within a sociological backdrop.

And now?

I'm only reminded of the great effort that I had to put into reading it. Both times.

I can honestly say that I'll be giving Brunner props forever for all the effort he put into all the digressions, the advertisements, the worldbuilding, and the dystopian outlook of an extremely overpopulated world. I can't say that I particularly liked its readability, though. It annoyed. Greatly. But I can step back and admire it from afar and pray I'm never called on to read the novel again.

On the other hand, I did get into Donald's story easier this time, and Norman with Chad C. Mulligan kicks all sorts of ass from the beginning to almost the very last line in the novel. (What can I say? I prefer letting the computer get the last laugh. It usually does, anyway.)

My hat goes off to the novel, once again, but I'm now hesitating as to whether I'd put this at the top or even in the top twenty novels that I've loved. Even though, in memory, I always put it there before.

Hell, the novel was one of the first fifty novels that cemented my love of SF, and it certainly pushed me off the bridge to go on a hell of a John Brunner spree where I wouldn't touch any other novelist for eight months. I can stand in awe of Stand on Zanzibar all I want, but honestly, I think I LOVED The Sheep Look Up and Shockwave Rider MUCH better. There's a great deal to be said about readability and adventure. Just having a great premise doesn't always mean you've got a truly timeless story.

(I'm speaking to you, Mr. Love Aerosol.)

"God damn you for crazy idiots! All of you! You're not fit to manage your silly lives! I know you're fools- have you watched you and wept for you. And... Oh my god!"

His voice cracked to a breathing moan. "I love you! I've tried not to, and I can't help it. I love you all..." ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brunner, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brin, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gómez García, JesúsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hasted, MichaelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McMurray, JacobIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pemerle, DidierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pukallus, HorstTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, Kim StanleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
S. A. Summit IncCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tinkelman, MurrayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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context (0)                              THE INNES MODE      

"There is nothing wilful or arbitrary about the Innis mode of expression. Were it to be translated into perspective prose, it would not only require huge space, but the insight into modes of interplay among forms of organisation would also be lost. Innis sacrificed point of view and prestige to his sense of the urgent need for insight. A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. As Innes got more insight he abandoned any mere point of view in his presentation of knowledge. When he interrelates the development of the steam press with the 'consolidation of the vernaculars' and the rise of nationalism and revolution he is not reporting anybody's point of view, least of all his own. He is setting up a mosaic configuration or galaxy for insight... Innes makes no effort to 'spell out' the interrelations between the components in his galaxy. He offers no consumer packages in his later work, but only do-it-yourself kits..." - Marshall McLuhan: The Gutenberg Galaxy
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"Originally published in 1968, Stand on Zanzibar was a breakthrough in science fiction storytelling technique, and a prophetic look at a dystopian 2010 that remains compelling today. Corporations have usurped democracy, ubiquitous information technology mediates human relationships, mass-marketed psychosomatic drugs keep billions docile, and genetic engineering is routine. Universal in reach, the world-system is out of control, and we are all its victims...and its creator"--Cover p. [4].

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