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The Stone That Never Came Down
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The Stone That Never Came Down

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Europe in the 21st Century is a stricken continent. Cities crumble with neglect. Governments topple to military coups. But one man may have the answer. It is a viral drug that drastically alters the human mind, a cure for depression, unemployment, war, madness, national hatreds, prejudice, crime & mass hysteria, but there were those who wanted the cure suppressed until...more
Hardcover, 206 pages
Published December 1973 by Doubleday (first published October 1973)
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This is a novel written in 1973, and has always been a favorite of mine, and this is probably the third or fourth time that I have read this fine book. Although the tale is set primarily in England, it describes a dystopia in which poverty, inflation, unemployment, and disillusionment are rampant around the world, and WW III seems just around the corner. And, to make matters worse, members of a right-wing political/religious group, The Campaign Against Moral Pollution (Godheads), are armed with...more
Oct 07, 2009 Lera rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lera by: Ian
A morality tale, but an entertaining one. On the brink of WWIII, can a new virus save humanity? Rather sweet and 70s that the only thing he thought wouldn't be affected was partying and recreational drug use.
It was nice to read a book again with a happy ending. You hardly ever hear about Brunner, which is a big shame, because he's such a great SF writer.

His foresight is pretty unbelievable. Super rich top class and poor class getting poorer all the time - check. EU countries getting more and more nationalistic in response to European integration - check. Riots in many EU countries - check. Christian fundamentalism getting more prominent in public discourse (Tea party like) - check. Anti gay movemen...more
Dave Lefevre
I discovered John Brunner though a reference to "The Sheep Look Up" I read at some point this year. I think he is an overlooked Science Fiction master close to the level of Phillip K. Dick. The problem is that he hasn't been rediscovered yet. He needs to be.

I posted in an update that Brunner is an uncomfortable read. You might refer back to a couple of posts that I made about Brunner. He predicts trends in society (albeit that, like Phil Dick, he predicted certain things in society to happen ear...more
Andy Holyer
Discovered this on my bookshelves, and somehow I've never read it before.

Judging by the chisel mark in the top I must have bought it as a remainder.

What a discovery! Set in Kentish Town, in a Britain in severe recession (two million unemployed - remember that), severe economic crises in .. er .. Greece and Italy, potential breakdown of - OK, it's still called the Common Market, but you get the idea.

Written in 1973 (Brunner died in 1995), but despite the cassette tapes and telephones with handset...more
TS Waterman
Brilliant story from the always prescient Brunner. Set in a near-future (from the time of writing, 1973), it outlines a world sliding into global depression, with the resulting rise in racism, class warfare, and church-supplied self-righteousness, coutries defaulting from the European coalition, etc. Brunner has a recipe for a utopian solution that is bit untenable in reality, but serves well to explore the shortcomings of us humans as a rational species.
Although I am a big fan of John Brunner, none of his other works have quite come up to the level of "The Sheep Look Up" or "Stand on Zanzibar." I enjoyed the setting of this novel in Europe, and the idea that was raised in the story about a specie being aware of its own evolution, but didn't find the characters particularly engaging, though some were all too accurate in their depiction of contemporary political figures.
A work of genius from the 70s that combines elements of Orwell and Huxley and paints an eerily accurate picture of what the world has become (because he was prescient enough to see that the gears were in motion, even then). The world could use more writers like Brunner now, rather than the fantasists who have nothing to say.
Jeff Humphreys
Enjoyable so far. It very old-style fiction, one of his first, I think. The little British anecdotes are delightful, though probably common place if your a Brit. His insights into the insanity of modern life, from 2011 looking back on 1973 are fairly astute.
Erik Graff
Oct 08, 2009 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Brunner fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
John Brunner was one of my favorite science fiction writers. This is typical of his socially relevant, and in this case optimistic, science fiction. My notecard on this one has penned the single word "excellent".
Odd book, not a great book but one I'm glad I read. SciFi with a moral thread throughout
1970's optimistic science fiction -- optimistic even in the face of pessimistic conditions
Sean Llewellyn Williams
Another old favourite. I liked it, but I felt it needed a better plot engine.
Nice little sci-fi.
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The late John Brunner was perhaps as well known for much of his career in the US as in the UK. A leftwing activist, with particular connections to the peace movement, much of his best and most mature fiction is involved in a complex analysis of social trends and where they will take us--novels like Stand on Zanzibar which deals with overpopulation, among other things, and The Sheep Look Up, which...more
More about John Brunner...
Stand on Zanzibar The Sheep Look Up The Shockwave Rider The Crucible of Time The Jagged Orbit

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