John Brunner: Stand on Zanzibar

I’ve continued trying to get through some of the classic sci-fi I’ve bought but not quite got around to reading yet. You know the books? Looks good on the shelf, but there’s always something else you find yourself reading first.

Yesterday I waded into ‘Stand on Zanzibar’ as it’s languished on my bookshelves for about a year, untouched. A friend raved about it, so it became next up on the reading list.

First impression was not good. An immediate wall of nerdy self-indulgant geekery terms, made up for the book. Not to be intimidated I soldiered on; maybe this was just getting the technodump out of the way early? Wrong, apparently. And you can’t blame me for trying – I did eventually reach page 68 before the wave of boredom left me flicking back trying to work out what was actually going on. Far too much waffle, and made up technical gobbledygook. There were some nice ahead of their time ideas, but I’m sorry to say that if I labour on to page 68 waiting for the hook to arrive, then don’t expect me to read further if it hasn’t.

Overall a thumbs down. I’d give it a generous 3 out of 10, purely for the nice idea with the computer.