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The Shockwave Rider

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,693 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
One man has made it his mission to liberate the mental prisoners. to restore their freedom in a world run mad.

Nickie Halflinger, the only person to escape from Tarnover- where they raise hyper-intelligent children to maintain the political dominance of the USA in the 21st century – is on the run, dodging from loophole to crevice to crack in the computerised data-net that b
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Del Rey (first published 1975)
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Neuromancer by William GibsonSnow Crash by Neal StephensonThe Diamond Age by Neal StephensonDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best of Cyberpunk
34th out of 227 books — 924 voters
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Computers in Literature
32nd out of 206 books — 190 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael
Apr 13, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biopunk, social-sf
TSR is not a plot book, and it is also not a character book, but it IS an idea book. Brunner was ahead of the curve (or the shockwave) on so many things, and managed to write about the modern Internet in 1975, anticipating terms like 'bandwidth' and 'computer worm'. This is great social SF.
Eilonwy

Three and a half stars, rounded up.

This is an unusual book, one without a plot exactly, and which ends with a question for the reader rather than an actual conclusion. But considering that it was published in 1975, it felt less outdated in its prediction of a wired future than one would have thought when I read it in 2004 or thereabouts.
Ugur
Jun 26, 2013 Ugur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1975 yılında yazılmış olan Şok Dalgası Süvarisi, yazıldığı döneme göre çok orijinal bir konuya sahip ve yazarın uzağı çok iyi öngördüğünü göstermekte.

Gelecekte devletler güvenliklerini ve üstünlüklerini sağlamak için genetik mühendislikten ve bilgisayarlardan yararlanarak yeni bir toplum düzeni yaratmak istiyorlar. Tüm insanlar tek bir veri ağına bağlanmış durumda, gelecek veya herhangi bir konu ile ilgili tahminler yapılırken tüm insanlardan alınan veriler ile gerçek değerlere ulaşılmaya çalışı
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Sophie Barker
Jul 10, 2016 Sophie Barker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Estoy generosa: a lo mejor no se merece las 5 pero ¡qué coño!, me lo he pasado estupendamente leyéndolo y ya está.

Mi pequeña cabecita alcanza a formular reflexiones pero no le da para desarrollarlas del todo; leyendo este libro me ha dado por preguntarme cómo es posible que alguien en los 70 fuera capaz de percibir la trampa y las falsas religiones que surgirían a partir del desarrollo de los ordenadores, pero no fuera más allá de imaginar un aparato que sería aún más engañoso: el smartphone.

P
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Kiri
Sep 04, 2010 Kiri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This book starts out a little rocky and disjointed (possibly an intentional style by the author to match with the subject material), then pulls together and ultimately soars by the last third. Written in 1975, much of the technology forecast in this book is amazingly prescient, especially that relating to the Internet ("datanet"). I'm not usually a fan of the elliptical writing and shallow characterization typical of older sci-fi, and I'm not a huge fan of puns (wordplay is used liberally throug ...more
Tony Daniel
Mar 02, 2010 Tony Daniel rated it it was ok
Prescient proto-cyberpunk classic. Highly influenced by Alvin Toffler's Futureshock, down to having a Toffler-like philosopher quoted in the book and a Toffler blurb on the back. Used the idea of the computer worm and virus (called a phage in the book) for maybe the first time in sci-fi. Eventually devolves into a 70s aging hippie luddite critique of of technological advancement, completely failing to foresee the individual, antitotalitarian empowerment the information revolution brought about. ...more
Lee
Dec 04, 2010 Lee rated it it was amazing
The Shockwave Rider is a book before its time, published in 1975, the book provides a vision for the future of computer networks today. The term 'Web' was used in this book years before the Web as we know it emerged. A riveting story of freeman vs Big Brother society which contains the classic values of privacy still being debated vigorously today. Computer worms and self replicating code - all the cyber components.

The increasing rate of change has sent most Americans into mental distress. Every
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Adam
A proto-cyberpunk text by Brunner that I didn’t warm to that much but fairs alright in hindsight(and as a piece with quartet, sometimes refered to as his "American Quartet".), the images aren't as vivid and the plot is more opaque. Some interesting moments with an ending somewhat echoing Bester’s Tiger! Tiger! (Fine, Stars my Destination, blah!) Interesting book (especially the thoughts on identity which seem very prophetic for the identity theft age) some elements seem to have been better handl ...more
Alberto
Jun 10, 2016 Alberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No sé si os acordáis de las pelis de hackers. Hubo una época, por los 80 y 90, en la que estaban de moda. Lo que ocurría con aquellas películas es que, dado que ver a un tío escribiendo código ante una pantalla era algo bastante aburrido, convertían el asunto en algo mucho más épico. Dibujitos de colores, etc... El jinete de la onda del shock no cae del todo en esos clichés porque es un poco más antiguo, porque en cierto modo es PRECURSOR de toda esa movida, pero eso no quita que aquí de vez en ...more
Colin MacDonald
Jul 10, 2016 Colin MacDonald rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Re-read on 2016-07-10.

For a book written 40+ years ago (1975), this holds up surprisingly well. It doesn't say precisely when it's set, but it's around now - after 2010 and before 2025. It gets a bunch of stuff wrong, but it's eerily on-target in a lot of ways. It was written when the Internet was still just a research project, but envisions it pretty well as we know it - its role in our lives, if not the technical details. One of the big themes is government surveillance of internet traffic. Th
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M. Ihsan Tatari
Şok Dalgası Süvarisi bildiğimiz romanlardan biraz farklı. Bir maceradan ziyade bir fikir anlatıyor çünkü.

Nick Haflinger uzun zamandır sistemden kaçan ve sürekli kimlik değiştirerek farklı hayatlar süren biri. Kimi zaman mütevazı bir rahip rolünü üstleniyor, kimi zamansa havalı bir iş adamı. Kitap Nick'in yakalanmasıyla ve bir tür sorgu odasında sorgulanmasıyla başlıyor. Gelişmiş bilgisayar teknolojisi sayesinde Nick'i hafızasında geriye döndürüyorlar ve geçmişini tekrar yaşamasını sağlarken bunc
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Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Jun 25, 2015 Allan Dyen-Shapiro rated it it was amazing
Where I most frequently see this book referenced is in articles about predicting the future of computer science. Yes, he dead describe worms, viruses and other malware back in 1975 before they were known. Yes, the "data-net" does seem something quite a bit like the Internet. And yes, there are personal computers in everyone's home--not a given back in 1975.

But I came across it after having read his earlier book Stand on Zanzibar. That one was groundbreaking. Infused with the essence of Marshall
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Fabulantes
Dec 22, 2014 Fabulantes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciencia-ficcion
Reseña: http://www.fabulantes.com/2013/07/el-...
"En El jinete de la onda del shock Brunner sí recoge el guante lanzado por Toffler en su libro El shock del futuro (1970), haciendo del análisis de la “enfermedad del cambio” el leitmotiv de la novela. Así, nos traslada la siguiente pregunta: ¿por qué los seres humanos toleran pobreza y hambre en un planeta rico, o se callan ante las prebendas obtenidas a partir de evidentes ventajas injustas? Para Brunner, el umbral de tolerancia ante el statu quo
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Valeria Lozano
El jinete de la onda del shock (título en español)

El 2º libro de ciencia-ficción que logro acabarme sin contar novelas juveniles (es mi género maldito)y me ha encantado. Me costó mucho engancharme porque a parte de que como en toda buena obra de ciencia-ficción lo normal es al principio no enterarse de nada con tantos términos científicos inventados xD, el inicio del libro es confuso, lento y denso, pero la idea me parecía muy buena y me intrigaba saber a dónde iba a llevar todo y no me arrepien
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Billy Conn
Feb 20, 2014 Billy Conn rated it liked it
Overall, a read, but has some technical flaws a review would be remiss not to mention:

Brunner was cyberpunk before cyberpunk was cyberpunk. The Shockwave Rider was written years before Neuromancer, and ARPAnet less than 50 nodes. As far as I know, the first recorded use of the word worm to describe a self-replicating - without human intervention - computer program. He brought up the concept of "Information wants to be free" years before Brand, if only his wording had been more clever. Much of th
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Grady McCallie
Oct 26, 2014 Grady McCallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a book published in the 1970s, this remains unexpectedly relevant today: a vision of a neoliberal capitalist dystopia in which the world has been overrun with shallow advertising, rapid change, and an information environment of constant stimulus but incomplete data. People know they don't have the whole picture, even though they are receiving more explanations and facts than ever, and it makes them nervous, and makes a subset crazy. As the story begins, one man who has tried to hide using se ...more
Pete
Mar 27, 2015 Pete rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
The Shockwave Rider (1975) by John Brunner is a science fiction book that has one of the first examples of a computer hacker. It tells the story of Nick Haflinger, who was a student at an elite US school called Tarnover. In the world of the book the threat of coercion and analysis has replaced military and economic power in international power politics.
Nick learns to disguise his identity and escapes Tarnover and learns about the world. He is then recaptured and his interrogation and a recollec
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Jim
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
I think the futuristic lingo is a little over done - makes it a bit more difficult to read than it has to be - he is painting a very scary look at a future that is now here in very many ways. This is pretty remarkable when the main thrust is a computerized society that was only beginning in 1975 & the Internet was a twinkling in ARPANet's juvenile eye. Well worth reading.
Individualfrog
May 30, 2015 Individualfrog rated it it was ok
Compared to Stand on Zanzibar, the other Brunner that I've read, this book avoids both the crazy highs and the dealbreaking lows, and ends up pretty mediocre as a book.

The future presented is interesting, but not as a world, only as a prediction. The internet-analogue presented here is much closer to ours than the one in Neuromancer, for example: the Delphi Boards are contributed to and accessed by the masses the way our internet is, and the privacy concerns of computers knowing your every move
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Olethros
Jan 21, 2014 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Muy visionaria en su momento.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. En el siglo XXI, un hombre que en este momento se llama Arthur Edward Lazarus y es ministro propietario de la Iglesia del Infinito Discernimiento, pero que ha sido antes muchas otras versiones de sí mismo con ocupaciones muy diferentes, está internado de nuevo en Tarnover, institución perteneciente a un programa gubernamental estadounidense de localización y adoctrinamiento de individuos especialmente dotados que resultan
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Josh
Oct 02, 2015 Josh rated it it was amazing
John Brunner was very moved by Alvin Toffler's Future Shock. He contacted Toffler and told him he intended to write a piece of fiction to capture the spirit of that visionary book.

Toffler scoffed. Can't be done, he opined.

This is what Brunner wrote. Toffler read it and announced that he'd been very wrong and Brunner'd brilliantly done what he set out to do.

I agree with Toffler's revised opinion. I was and remain moved by this saga.

p.s. If you are familiar with the TV show, The Pretender, it remi
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Ralph McEwen
Dec 21, 2010 Ralph McEwen rated it really liked it
The book written in 1975 uses technological terms (IE: bandwidth) with a foresight unlike any before it. It's a up dated version of other "Big Brother" type stories but very readable.
Mike
Nov 28, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
A great book about hacking, megacorps, evil government, and revolution through information... from 1975. It will sound terribly dated and so suprisingly damn relevant - trust me.
Brion O'quigley
Sep 26, 2014 Brion O'quigley rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable read. It's hard to believe that Brunner wrote this book in 1975. His portrayal of the "plug-in lifestyle" and much of the technology is now a fact. The story is the typical Hero's Journey, romanticized, and the naive conclusion is more than idealized as the hero saves the world from the corrupt powers that be. Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable read in terms of viewing the present... and potential future... through the eyes of a insightful writer. I was particularly impressed by his ...more
Krzysztof
Jul 08, 2016 Krzysztof rated it really liked it
Na fali szoku

Pierwsze parę stron i moja myśl: "O nie... znów powtórka z Neuromancera... Znów ktoś chce mnie przekonać, że tego typu styl narracji jest super, bo jest super...", ale to na szczęście tylko pierwsze wrażenie. Dalej przekonujemy się, że Brunner jest znacznie lepszym pisarsko powieściopisarzem od Gibsona. Niemniej jednak to dla mnie trochę powieść niewykorzystanych szans, które sama sobie kreuje i usypia entuzjazm chwilę wcześniej zbudowany.

U Brunnera mamy do czynienia z inspiracją k
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Todos Mis Libros
Jan 28, 2016 Todos Mis Libros rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lo-tengo
En un futuro en el que toda la sociedad está controlada por una inmensa red informática que controla a todos y cada uno de los individuos anulando completamente su intimidad, Nick Haflinger se convierte en fugitivo al huir del centro de adiestramiento gubernamental en el que había ingresado. Toma esta decisión al quedar desmoralizado y desilusionado en cuanto a lo que creía que iba a encontrar en dicho centro (una verdadera familia y un hogar al fin, después de toda una infancia pasando de unos ...more
Tara
Aug 12, 2014 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not as compelling as The Sheep Look Up and moralized and preached even more. It presented some interesting political and social questions and offered up its own ("better") solutions the validity of which I'm not certain. The point, however, is that it was food for thought.

One thing difficult about this book is the formatting which has it jumping around all over the place with a past story and a present story and then alternate view/advertisement/whoevenknows inserts scattered prodigious
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Nicolas
J'ai déja dit, il y a bien longtemps, que Brunner était pour moi l'un des auteurs d eSF les plus clairvoyants, et cette relecture et l'occasion parfaite d'une confirmation de cette opinion.
Ce roman, qui a inspiré la série télé "Le caméléon", nous raconte les aventures d'une espèce de hacker de génie, capable à la fois de pénétrer les systèmes informatiques les mieux gardés, mais également de changer d'identité, de métier, de vie, en 5 minutes sans préparation, et sans jamais être démasqué.
Nature
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Shawn Garbett
Sep 14, 2013 Shawn Garbett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a long interrogation, and was where the term worm and virus was coined in computer terms. The whole premise is a lot like the show, "The Prisoner", but far better. What's truly odd about it, is the parallels with Snowden and Manning, the pervasive surveillance of an unemotional state obsessed with controlling it's populace. They've profiled the psychology of the masses, and feel omnipotent, if they could just gather enough data then control based on stimuli response observations wil ...more
Mark
Aug 14, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, sf, favorites
"One of the first science fiction books I read in high school (late 1970s). Brunner took the increasing rate of change being experienced discussed in Future Shock and extrapolated that into the future. He envisioned a world wide data network which was used by everyone. Since everything was in the web, privacy was also extremely limited. Being able to manipulate (hack) data in ""the web"" gave people incredible power. The rate of change was so quick that most people have significant problems copi ...more
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John Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie Ro ...more
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“There are two kinds of fools. One says, "This is old, and therefore good." And one says, " This is new, and therefore better.” 64 likes
“I'm myself, not a label.” 40 likes
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