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The Long Result

The Long Result Characters Å 2 Und in the lethal atmosphere of Earth Then the vital controlled environment for the Tau Cetian delegation is sabotaged Oxygen leaks in and the aliens are half burnt alive Even if it means brutal murder The Stars Are For Man League is d. review of John Brunner s The Long Result by tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE February 24 2013 I m now a full fledged Brunner enthusiast I m happy to finally be reading his work after having or less ignored it for the at least 40 yrs I ve known about it I think I wasn t interested in him bc I had the impression that he s a somewhat generic SF writer WCH in a sense he is He doesn t have that obvious topical distinction that J G Ballard does eg Ballard pries open the festering subconscious of the culture of his my time serves it up like Burroughs Naked Lunch Brunner s writing style remains prosaic limited by both his writerly philosophy the commercial constraints of his publishers W that sd he s also a writer full of ideas of inspiration I m glad he was as prolific as he was since it means that he s left behind a substantial reservoir of pleasurable stimulation for me to while away w The Long Result is essentially an anti racist novel extrapolated into a future where distinctions between humans are no longer the negative obsession of the bigot but rather distinctions between humans extraterrestrials Brunner does an excellent job w the theme I m beginning to think that it d be hard for me to dislike any SF writer but my enthusiasm for Brunner isn t really reflective of that As seems to be so often the case I found myself focusing on details not necessarily central to the main plot when I took my notes for this review This is partially bc I figure discussions of the main plot will be out about in the world in plenty already EG I decided I would probably like bin Ishmael than our previous casual purely social encounters had already made me Old fashioned or not I liked people who had private libraries and even Patricia who took the modern attitude that all you needed was access to a good computer memory couldn t make me change my views p 42 Now THAT S prescient The copyright date on my copy of this is 1965 Such a distinction about computer use vs private libraries is very here now of 2013 I participated in a Zine Fair back in the fall of 2011 2 guys told me that they d had liked some records of mine but d gotten rid of all their records for CDs or some such The thing is one of the records they mentioned is a RECORD complete w things records have that CDs don t parallel lock grooves etc THERE WILL NOT BE A CD TO REPLACE IT Therefore by getting rid of the record they got rid of all its meta content too Not only do computers the internet e bks etc NOT replace hard copy publications the powers that be can use the corporate control of servers to wink information out of accessibility let s not forget internet censorship there s plenty of it I had a movie removed from YouTube simply bc someone complained about the accompanying notes The movie was a critiue of the Pavlovian believability of mass media the person who complained about it is an aspiring media studies professor She complained bc she s in the movie in the notes I sd that the dog that s also in the movie was the most intelligent A bit central to the plot is this Well Viridis was planted about a hundred and ten years ago by a group of neo Roussellians who wanted to return to a pre technological civilization On Earth they d become a laughing stock of course but since the sociologists were pressing the government to aid the study of alternative solutions to the problem of organizing a mass society their colony was approved and subsidized They got on well Oh yes About half of our modern music drama and verse is Viridian in origin Their society has a I fumbled for the right word A depth a richness which ours lacks You prefer their society to the Starhomers Well yes Starhome was founded to see how far a technologically oriented society could be driven Of course in their own way the Starhomers have done exceedingly well their level of mechanization is amazing And naturally my department deals with the social conseuences of this well experiment p 54 Brunner s writing does get better better his descriptions get subtly realistic there s an attn to detail that I love No you re at least here though what help that is I don t really know I can t find your boss I can t find the head of alien contact the woman with the impossible to pronounce name Indowegiatuk Jacky supplied It meant something in an Eskimo dialect they said I d never found out what p 73 People are exasperated people are frustrated by not being able to get in touch w someone there re problems w pronouncing a person s name Such details are ignored by hack writers in the interest of just moving ahead w the action as in The Whole Man Brunner mentions a theremin in passing The number of interests this room reflected was fantastic A theremin stood under the main window its flex coiled over an antiue and fabulously valuable guitar Rows of loose leaf binders containing semantic and sociological notes were half hidden behind reproductions of classical sculpture a Rodin a Henry Moore the Venus of Milo and Kasneky s Virtue p 90 then there re amusing touches such as the discovery appreciation of science fiction as an obsolete antiue How many SF writers think about that Oh I don t think I ve shown you this he said switching subjects once with the same disconcerting rapidity He reached behind him and drew out a small rather tattered volume He held his hand over the top of it so all I could see was the picture on the front a painting of Mars with a spaceship in the foreground What about it I said Well what do you think it is It s a spaceship obviously One of our early pure rocket models I presume though I m no expert on that Take a look at the date on it Handle with care I took it gingerly It was old and made of woodpulp paper which had been coated with plastic to preserve it even so it was brittle to the touch I looked for the date Micky had mentioned and found it on the spine It was 1959 I said But And stopped It was one of the most violent double takes I d ever made Correct Micky said There weren t any spaceships flying to Mars in 1959 p 93 Brunner isn t afraid to give credit where credit is due even when it probably rubs somewhat against what re possibly his own personal political feelings Starhome as you damned well know is a force grown society It s not exactly regimented but it s sure as hell disciplined It was planted by the spiritual descendants of the twentieth century totalitarians I know that s a dirty word but it s an accurate description Their supreme goal is efficiency It s the most workable compromise ever achieved between the laxity of individual freedom and the rigidity of the corporate state Most important it s a far efficient basic design than we have p 95 Now I m as anti Fascist as anti Nazi as ever but I wdn t mind having the trains run on time to use that reference to Mussolini metaphorically Brunner has revived my enthusiasm for science fiction like no other has for a while C M Kornbluth Frederik Pohl were his predecessors in this respect I m grateful for it Brunner s yet another person I d wish I d gotten to know when he was alive Our life times overlapped by 42 yrs Maybe I shd go to SF conventions eh

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The Long Result Characters Å 2 When racial hatred turns to murderous menace First a rocket ship loses its engines on take off and is destroyed On board an important extra terrestrial visitor Next someone slams into the sealed vehicle used for transporting aliens aro. Originally published on my blog here in January 2003Much early American pulp science fiction is extremely chauvinistic having an attitude to alien races closely related to the worst racist propaganda aliens are menacing evil creatures seeking to take over the universe It is easy to get carried away by an exciting story only to realise afterwards that it has an unpleasant hidden meaning of this sort Superhuman heroes battle inhuman hordes and win the love of beautiful women women are kidnapped and rescued in the nick of time from tentacular fates worse than deathJohn Brunner has always written novels which were for their time slightly apart from the science fiction mainstream and in The Long Result he produced one in opposition to the clich s of the genre even if they were already outmoded by 1965 The main menace in the novel comes from the crackpot Stars Are For Man League dedicated to putting human beings in a superior position over the various alien races in this part of the galaxy on the grounds that humanity invented the star drive which enabled them to discover the aliens rather than the other way round This is not coincidentally similar to nineteenth century arguments to justify colonialismThe narrator Roald Vincent is a senior official of the Bureau of Cultural Relations which handles contacts not just with the aliens but also with human colony worlds He has to handle a rapidly escalating crisis when a ship from Starhome the first interstellar ship not to be built on Earth announces when about to land that it carries a diplomatic mission from a newly discovered alien species This makes them the focus of attacks by the League and the crisis is also being used in political manoeuvring between Earth and Starhome a colony beginning to press for independenceThe political ideas are unusually sophisticated for the science fiction of the time and yet The Long Result is still primarily an adventure story which has a style owing a lot to John Wyndham It is clearly a milestone on the path of development which led Brunner to Stand on Zanzibar and the dystopias which followed it well worth reading

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The Long Result Characters Å 2 Etermined to shatter the harmony between Earth and civilizations on other planets and to keep mankind supreme among the alien life forms Only one man can stop them a man who unknowingly nurses a viper in his bosom First published in 19. Not uite as good as I was hoping but still a good politicalmystery thriller type of book Maybe not a thriller It involves an anti alien group who is attacking visiting alien representatives on Earth Roald is the main character and works in the Bureau of Culture and is sent to accompany the newest group to Earth and gets involved far deeper than he would have expected As usual Brunner does very well at portraying human behavior on grounds of xenophobia and intolerance I can only imagine this is how things would be in the future if we were to actually be in contact with life outside our own planet

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 190
  • The Long Result
  • John Brunner
  • English
  • 18 February 2017
  • 9780345218872