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From This Day Forward

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"One of the most important science fiction authors. Brunner held a mirror up to reflect our foibles because he wanted to save us from ourselves."
--SF Site

For each generation, there is a writer meant to bend the rules of what we know. Hugo Award winner (Best Novel, STAND ON ZANZIBAR) and British science fiction master John Brunner remains one of the most influential and respected authors of all time, and now E-Reads is pleased to re-introduce many of his classic works. For readers familiar with his vision, it's a chance to re-examine his thoughtful worlds and words, while for new readers, Brunner's work proves itself the very definition of timeless.

Collected when Brunner was at the peak of his writing form, this even dozen of his short stories, with a bonus poem thrown into the mix, offers provocative ideas and thrilling action mixed with conceptions of the inevitable future, the inventable future, the alternate future, the future to be avoided and the future that is sometimes right now. A heady brew!

176 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1972

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About the author

John Brunner

415 books392 followers
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 Rosamond Sauer on 12 July 1958

At the beginning of his writing career Brunner wrote conventional space opera pulp science fiction. Brunner later began to experiment with the novel form. His 1968 novel "Stand on Zanzibar" exploits the fragmented organizational style John Dos Passos invented for his USA trilogy, but updates it in terms of the theory of media popularised by Marshall McLuhan.

"The Jagged Orbit" (1969) is set in a United States dominated by weapons proliferation and interracial violence, and has 100 numbered chapters varying in length from a single syllable to several pages in length. "The Sheep Look Up" (1972) depicts ecological catastrophe in America. Brunner is credited with coining the term "worm" and predicting the emergence of computer viruses in his 1975 novel "The Shockwave Rider", in which he used the term to describe software which reproduces itself across a computer network. Together with "Stand on Zanzibar", these novels have been called the "Club of Rome Quartet", named after the Club of Rome whose 1972 report The Limits to Growth warned of the dire effects of overpopulation.

Brunner's pen names include K. H. Brunner, Gill Hunt, John Loxmith, Trevor Staines, Ellis Quick, Henry Crosstrees Jr., and Keith Woodcott.
In addition to his fiction, Brunner wrote poetry and many unpaid articles in a variety of publications, particularly fanzines, but also 13 letters to the New Scientist and an article about the educational relevance of science fiction in Physics Education. Brunner was an active member of the organisation Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and wrote the words to "The H-Bomb's Thunder", which was sung on the Aldermaston Marches.

Brunner had an uneasy relationship with British new wave writers, who often considered him too American in his settings and themes. He attempted to shift to a more mainstream readership in the early 1980s, without success. Before his death, most of his books had fallen out of print. Brunner accused publishers of a conspiracy against him, although he was difficult to deal with (his wife had handled his publishing relations before she died).[2]

Brunner's health began to decline in the 1980s and worsened with the death of his wife in 1986. He remarried, to Li Yi Tan, on 27 September 1991. He died of a heart attack in Glasgow on 25 August 1995, while attending the World Science Fiction Convention there

K H Brunner, Henry Crosstrees Jr, Gill Hunt (with Dennis Hughes and E C Tubb), John Loxmith, Trevor Staines, Keith Woodcott

Winner of the ESFS Awards in 1980 as "Best Author" and 1n 1984 as "Novelist"..

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Profile Image for Karl.
3,258 reviews257 followers
June 11, 2020
DAW Collectors #72

Cover Artist: Kelly Freas

Name: Brunner, John Kilian Houston, Birthplace: Preston Crowmarsh, Oxfordshire, England, UK, ( 24 September 1934 - 25 August 1995)

Alternate Names: Gill Hunt, John Loxmith, Ellis Quick, Trevor Staines, Keith Woodcott.

This is a collection of stories by John Brunner, lucky 13 of em.

The lucky 13 here include ""The Biggest Game"" in which a congenital womanizer is stalked not only by husbands and private detectives but also men in black; a story of a too successful young man who can avert trouble by extrasensing it ahead; the life = death = doom which is ""Wasted on the Young""; a variant Judas story, a Rip van Winkling ""Fairy Tale,"" and a Naderesque ""Factsheet"" with its clairvoyant revelations; and do not miss ""The Vitanuls"" in which a saintly Indian deliverer of thousands and thousands of infants finds that the world has run out of souls.

001 - A "From This Day Foreword", As It Were • (1972)
002 -  From This Day Forward (frontispiece) • interior artwork by Jack Gaughan
007 - The Biggest Game • (1956)
018 - The Trouble I See • (1959)
028 - An Elixir for the Emperor • (1964)
48 - Wasted on the Young • (1965)
060 - Even Chance • (1965)
072 - Planetfall • (1965)
089 - Judas • (1967)
096 - The Vitanuls • (1967)
115 - Factsheet Six • (1968)
141 - Fifth Commandment • (1970)
157 - Fairy Tale • (1970)
169 - The Inception of the Epoch of Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid • (1971)
175 - The Oldest Glass • (1972)

Profile Image for Tentatively, Convenience.
Author 16 books191 followers
September 12, 2014
review of
John Brunner's From This Day Forward
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - September 10, 2014

As I'm sure I've already written elsewhere I usually avoid reading short stories, I prefer novels - &, yet, obviously, the short story form typically involves a striking idea presented tautly, leading to an impactful conclusion - & Brunner, I've now discovered, is as expert at it as J. G. Ballard & C. W. Kornbluth - high praise from me, indeed! [How was that for a sentence full of qualifiers & punctuation?]

In other words, I agree w/ the cover's quote from the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle: "MAINTAINS A HIGH LEVEL THROUGHOUT." Yes. When I started reading it, I decided that I didn't want to quote from every story, that I just wanted to 'get a feel' for the bk & make some sort of sweeping statement in my review. Not having written the review yet [I'm in the midst of writing it at this point] I don't 'know' if that's what'll happen. I do 'know' that the most important thing about it for me is that it contains the story "Factsheet Six". I'll explain that eventually - but, 1st, the first page of the bk promotes it thusly:


It behooves us all to be interested in the future, because that's where we're going to spend the rest of our lives.

I wish I knew who said that! I wish I didn't know so many people who aren't listening to it!

We start off w/ a 1955 (or earlier) story called "THE BIGGEST GAME". Brunner wd've been around 20 when it was originally published so don't feel defeatist if you're young & creative & think there's not much hope of getting acknowledged at yr age. "The first time Royston noticed one of the men in black was as he paused before entering the gym." (p 7) 'The Men in Black'! Did that image originate w/ this story? Well, ok, there's a Three Stooges short called "Men in Black" from 1934 in wch they play doctors. But that has nothing to do extraterrestrials & this Brunner story does.

"In American popular culture and UFO conspiracy theories, Men in Black (MIB) are men dressed in black suits who claim to be government agents who harass or threaten UFO witnesses to keep them quiet about what they have seen. It is sometimes implied that they may be aliens themselves. The term is also frequently used to describe mysterious men working for unknown organizations, as well as various branches of government allegedly designed to protect secrets or perform other strange activities. The term is generic, used for any unusual, threatening or strangely behaved individual whose appearance on the scene can be linked in some fashion with a UFO sighting." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_in_B...

What I'm getting at is that Brunner is up there w/ the best as a short story writer. Considering that he started so young & that this bk covers material published in magazines from 1955 to 1972 the ideas are consistently fresh & strong & established early w/o necessarily 'giving it away' too soon for the ensuing thrill ride. "THE TROUBLE I SEE" begins:

"When Joe Munday was four years old he ran screaming from behind a truck. The truck was a large and heavy one. It was parked in the steeply sloping street which was Joe's playground and the front yard of his home. Moments later the driver let his brake off, and his clutch failed. The truck rolled twenty feet backward before he could jam the brake on again and clamber white-faced to the ground to see if the kid he'd noticed on the sidewalk was okay." - p 18

Brunner, like many SF writers, seems to embrace a practical state of mind. I'm sure he always read scientific articles & news. Many SF writers work in science or other pragmatic industries. As such, his stories proceed along logical lines to not necessarily foreseen ends. The above quote sets up the reader for Munday's precognition but where will it lead?

"AN ELIXIR FOR THE EMPEROR" jumps to ancient Rome, apparently in the century prior to its decline. Brunner doesn't stay in a small range of topics or locales: "The roar of the crowd was very good to his ears, just as the warm Italian sunshine was good on his body after three years of durance in the chill of Eastern Gaul. Few things made the general Publius Cinnus Metellus smile, but now, for moments only, his hard face relaxed as he made his way to the seat of honor overlooking the circus." (p 28) "Publius Cinnus Metellus" = Publius the Curly-haired Mercenary. Maybe Brunner just meant 'The Dick'.

"Marcus Placidus clutched his belly as though he would squeeze the poison from it" (p 47) Marcus Maecius Memmius Furius Baburius Caecilianus Placidus was a Roman statesmen - whether he was a clever villain who eventually got poisoned is unknown to me. Whether Brunner was really referring to an actual historical figure or not is also unknown. ""We shall see," murmured Apodorius." (p 47) Apodorius may've been a Jewish geometer. ""Does it make you smile, Cinatus Augustus["]" (p 47) Cinatus Augustus just seems to be a male name. This seems to be Brunner's alternate history of the decline of the Roman Empire. Nice.

The saying is "Youth is wasted on the young" & Brunner's "WASTED ON THE YOUNG" takes that away w/ the notion of a "professional youth": ""Well, are you going to make me stand here where anyone passing down the corridor might see me? Are you going to have people start to wonder why an adult comes calling on Hal Page, the professional youth? You see, I know about the notice you've had, and the reason for your spectacular party tonight."" (p 49)

Yep, Brunner keeps it lively, he keeps hopping around place & time: "Some of the fiercest fighting of World War II ebbed and flowed for months on either side of the territory of the Kalangs, but there was only one occasion on which the larger sweep of world events intruded into that inaccessible and hilly region of northern Burma to which they laid claim." (p 60) "The kalangs of java were a community of skilled forest cutters and shifting cultivators . Without their expertise , it was difficult to harvest teak and for the kings to build their palaces" - http://www.answers.com/Q/Who_were_kal... Isn't reading fun? I don't know about YOU (whoever YOU are) but I like looking things up mentioned in bks & broadening my knowledge (or whatever it is).

"PLANETFALL" is a particular favorite: a young man born on & living on a large spaceship gets a day off to be on Earth for the 1st time & meets an Earthborn girl named Lucy who wistfully wants the visitor's lifestyle. The reader gets to witness their respective perceptions through a nicely efficient narrative framework:

"At the beginning he exclaimed over everything. To see dogs on the street excited him tremendously. "The wealth!" he breathed. "The richness of the place! Why, that one must weigh half as much as a man, and two such would consume his food, his drinking water, his air supply . . . And here they run in packs around the houses!"

"Lucy said nothing, and he saw that the dogs were snuffling at garbage cans; then, how they visited the corners of walls, and how their soilings lay on the sidewalk and in the road." - p 84

"A fight began outside a bar. From the far side of the street, still hand in hand, they watched. A crowd gathered. Its members stood by, not minded to interfere. On the contrary they shouted encouragement, and only scattered when a police siren announced the imminent descent of a patrol flyer.

"Valeryk shook his head in bewilderment. "The—the waste of energy . . ." he began and got no further.

"Not without malice Lucy said, "Don't you fight among yourselves where you come from?"

""What for? How can we? The system depends—our very lives depend—on co-operative effort. This is one of the strange things about planetside dramas and stories which we pick up: this fantastic violence, this sense of surplus energy ready to boil off in new and unpredictable ways. But when it's reduced to that . . . !"" - p 85

"THE VITANULS" takes us to India for another fantastic premise: ""I think I follow you," the matron said at length. "I take it the anti-death pill is a success?"" (p 103)

& now, Gadies & Lentlemen, for the stunning centerpiece of this collection: "FACTSHEET SIX": I knew that Mike Gunderloy's phenomenal zine "FACTSHEET FIVE" was based around a John Brunner story but I'd never read it.. until NOW. WOW, does it put things in context!

The earliest issue of Gunderloy's FACTSHEET FIVE that I have is the 5th one. It's from February, 1983. It's 2 double-sided 8&1/2 X 11" sheets folded once & saddle-stitched, very modest. Mike introduces it as "the not-dead-yet zine of crosspollination & crosscurrents". It's intended "for direct mailing to the Good Folks"; its "Frequency: Irregular"; "the reason this is so late is simple: [Mike was] broke."

The FACTSHEET in Brunner's story is a one-page mailing of mysterious origin sent out to financially influential people. It contains revealing information about consumer-damaging products. Things like:

"LUPTON & WHITE LTD, Caterer's equipment. 127 employees of firms using bread-slicers, bacon-slicers and other cutting devices supplied by this company lost one or more fingers in the period under review." - p 117

The story was 1st published in 1968. According to Wikipedia, Ralph "Nader came to prominence in 1965 with the publication of his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers in general, and most famously the Chevrolet Corvair." Surely, Brunner's story was inspired by Nader, a man I deeply respect. People wanting to learn more about his consumer activism are directed here: https://nader.org/ . The publisher of the FACTSHEET is beginning to have influence on major investors who're withdrawing their support from companies exposed as producing unsafe products.

Gunderloy's FACTSHEET FIVE #5 contains 37 capsule reviews of such things as IMPOSSIBLE BOOKS, an anarchist bookstore in Chicago; ID NTITY's "report on an attempt to undermine reality maintenance traps" (that's ME folks! - "id ntity" is one of my 60 or so names); SELL OUT, a list of things for sale by mail; CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, "a bilingual journal of anarcho-pacifism"; & 18 bk reviews. The general thrust just being what's out there that Mike had come across & read or otherwise encountered. At that point it was pretty slim pickin's. Still, the fledgling thrust was on a counterculture of small-scale publishing as an alternative to corporate profit-driven mass media. As w/ Brunner's FACTSHEET, there was plenty of room for a hard critical look at the downsides of capitalist society & plenty of room for proposed solutions that might just fall into 'the right hands', the people who might change things - not, as in Brunner's story, necessarily major investors, more of a grassroots mvmt.

The inevitable skeptics & cynics who might think that a mere 15 zines wd never grow into something big enough to challenge BIG MONEY wd've probably been listened to in early 1983 - but what about in 1991 when Gunderloy's FACTSHEET FIVE #44 appeared (the last, as I recall, under Gunderloy's editorship) in its glorious 8&1/2 X 11" 132pp w/ about 22 zine reviews per page adding up to thousands?! In less than a decade, the 'zine revolution', the revolution of self-publishing by people mostly under-represented in the mainstream had blossomed into something truly fantastic! The grassroots had become extraordinarily robust & opinions contrary to capitalist propaganda were very, VERY widespread - probably to an unprecedented degree.

Gunderloy's FACTSHEET FIVE helped bring Brunner's fictitious FACTSHEET to real life. This was an accomplishment that took more energy on Mike's part than most people wd ever expend on anything in their whole life. So where are we now? I wonder. The internet has, to a certain extent, replaced zines & its international communication relative, Mail Art, but the agendas of the technical networks that the internet relies on are potentially very contrary to what strike me as the general public's best interests. Anonymous's efforts on behalf of the victim(s) of police murder in Ferguson is at the forefront of what can be done with computers in the politically effective range.

Brunner's SF prescience is usually astonishing. I don't know what precedents inspired "THE EPOCH OF MRS. BEDONEBYASYOUDID" but consider the following passages:

"a so-called pomegranate bomb—filched from the stores of a company responsible for supplying key munitions to the government of South Viet-Nam—exploded on the anti-suicide nets of the Empire State Building. Just one. Although the device had been designed for optimum effect following the ground-burst of a "mother" bomb containing two dozen such "daughters," the force of its explosion was adequate to rupture the wire netting it rested on and the small steel spheres it emitted caused a substantial number of casualties." - p 173

This story was 1st published in 1971 when the Viet-Nam War was still going on but it's full of shades of modern-day terrorism. Consider this:

The "Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, [a] terrorist attack that took place a short distance from the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. A pair of homemade bombs detonated in the crowd watching the race, killing 3 people and injuring more than 260."


"It was revealed that devices used in the attacks were household pressure cookers that had been packed with an explosive substance, nails, and ball bearings—the latter two elements acting as shrapnel when the bombs detonated."


"Dzhokhar revealed to investigators that he and his brother had obtained the plans for the bombs from Inspire, an online newsletter published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)."

- http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/t...

In other words, the bombs used in the Boston Marathon Bombings were similar to the "pomegranate bomb" in Brunner's story. I wonder, is al-Qaeda's Inspire closer to mainstream media or a zine? More from Brunner's story: "At nine-nine, during one of the busiest periods of the day at the 125th Street IRT station, a container began to leak a gas officially termed "DN," not recommended—to quote the army manual regarding its applicability—"where fatalities are impermissible."" (p 173) Now consider this:

"Lethal nerve gas attacks in the city of Matsumoto in 1994, and in the Tokyo subway system in 1995, led to the deaths of 19 people, as well as to a large number of injuries. These attacks caused great shock, in that they constituted an illegal use of chemical warfare agents against a defenceless public. These acts of terrorism were carried out by the members of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese doomsday cult." - http://www.opcw.org/news/article/the-...

In both cases, the attacks were made by religious people. Religion will be the death of us all. I doubt that Brunner's story inspired either of these attacks, more likely the military sources of the weapons combined with religious fanaticism was the inspiration. Still, I'm reminded of my own movie entitled "Imagine Utopias!" in wch I caution creative people against diabolical morbidity lest they inspire people who wouldn't have the imagination to think of such terrors on their own.

Adding to the variety, Brunner ends on a prose poem of sorts.
Profile Image for Kelly.
273 reviews181 followers
April 14, 2021
‘From This Day Forward’ (1972) collects thirteen stories by prolific British writer, John Brunner. A lot of speculative short stories have a slight whiff of horror to them. The cover of my copy suggests the stories within are no exception, it features the calendar page for Friday the 13th.

I snatched this book out of the donation bin at my local library when I saw the name on the spine. I’d recently read through an anthology of short stories and had enjoyed John Brunner’s entry as well as the introduction by the editor, which suggested John Brunner had been a master of the art. His bibliography certainly indicates that. He published no fewer than sixteen collections. That’s a lot of stories. He is perhaps best known for his novel Stand On Zanzibar, however, for which he won the 1969 Hugo Award.

A lot of the stories in 'From This Day Forward' speculate on a future where humanity has reached a state of stasis. An equilibrium that doesn’t feel equal or a sort of frustrating utopia. Retirees are bored and the young have nothing more interesting than years to live for, and his characters often take what they have for granted. These are, quite obviously, Brunner’s comments on where he thinks our society is headed. It’s this theme that collects these stories together, almost more than the message of the introduction.

The introduction is short, by the way, and carries a tone of levity that infects the first couple of stories. In the few brief paragraphs, John Brunner warns the reader that the future can happen tomorrow, or simply a minute from now.

I really enjoyed a handful of the stories. I had to chew through a couple of others. One left me totally mystified, but that might have been the cocktail I drank before reading it. (It was Sunday afternoon, all right?)

When I review or otherwise write about an anthology, I usually choose my three favourites, which become representative of what I liked about the collection. Two stories really stood out here. The first was ‘Wasted on the Young’ (1965). Society has reached a point where the young can afford to be young for a lot longer than we can, today. Until their thirtieth birthday, men and women are not obligated to do anything other than enjoy their life. The assumption is that they will eventually become bored and turn to adult pursuits, or become a contributing member of society. The cost of the young is calculated in years. They can live frugally and extend their youth (or lack of responsibility) until they die. Or they can live richly and face a debt of years their work as an adult will repay.

Hal Page spends a fortune in years while he is young, regardless of the debt of years he will accrue. Unfortunately for him, his imagination is limited to how he’ll spend his credit and not how he’ll repay his debt. When he receives his notice that his life of youthful excess will end tomorrow, he throws one last party, hang the expense. At the end, he attempts to shirk his responsibilities, only to discover his three hundred year debt has been carefully considered and planned for.

‘Wasted on the Young’ is one of those stories that is entertaining in the reading, and satisfying in conclusion. The twist at the end is creepy and cool and really showcases the depth and breadth of Brunner’s imagination. I could have read on, but the story works just as well as a slice of a life we can only imagine.

The other story that stood out for me was ‘The Vitanuls’ (1967). During a visit to India, Dr. Barry Chance stops by the maternity ward of a busy hospital to observe a scene he likens to a factory floor, a production line of humanity, where thirty-six women are currently engaged in labour. He is introduced to the oldest and most revered of the attending physicians, Dr. Ananda Kotiwala. At the hospital, they call Kotiwala their patron saint. Chance watches the doctor work and soon comes to the conclusion Kotiwala is a living treasure.

Chance is disturbed to learn that Kotiwala plans to retire the next day, whereupon the elder doctor will shed his former life in pursuit of enlightenment. He will wander from village to village as a sunnyasi, a man in the final stage of his work. The West has discovered the cure to aging, and while the rich and furious line up for their anti-senility pill, Chance feels men like Dr. Kotiwala are more deserving. Regardless, he has no choice in the matter.

The last baby delivered captures Kotiwala’s attention. The old doctor notices something unusual about its eyes, but is unable to communicate exactly what it is he sees. Assuming his age and wandering mind play tricks on him, he relinquishes the baby to younger doctor.

Two years later, Chance tracks Kotiwala to a remote village in India to ask how he knew that particular baby, the first of the Vitanuls, was different. Koitwala is unsurprised to hear the baby suffers from a congentily imbecility and, in fact, remains unmoved by the revelation that over the past two years, the instance of such a defect has risen to claim eight out of ten newborns. I’m not going to give away the why, here. That would ruin the story. Suffice to say, this one stayed with me for a while after. I’m not a rigorously religious individual, but I do have a strong sense of spirituality. The core of this story, while fantastic, has yet to be disproven. We might all be waiting for this day.

The other stories are varied. Some were very simply written while others showed an eloquence I can only hope to one day attain. Most carried a thinly veiled warning, giving the story the feel of a parable. One such was ‘The Trouble I See’ (1959). Joe Mundy can see the future, but inexactly. He only knows when things are wrong and so has a chance to avoid them. He exploits his talent, making enough money to leave his small town and move to the city, where he enveigles an older man, taking the place of the son the man never had. When the man dies, Joe is left as his heir. Steadily, he continues to build his fortune until one day he awakens sickened and unable to concentrate. The impending doom of war clutters his thoughts, and he is unable to find the way out.

I decided this story was cautionary tale. Small worries can direct actions, but a larger, looming threat over which one cannot gain control is something that can drive people to do stupid and alarming things. Had Joe been able to step back, out of his own head, and consider the facts, rather than simply acting upon them, the ending might have been very different.

Lastly, I’d like to mention ‘Judas’ (1967). God is a robot, but even though his form is visible and vulnerable, he is still more an idea than a body. It was Interesting story, one I thought to write off until the message at the end.

A lot of Brunner’s work has been re-released with snazzy new covers that recall the period during which they were originally published. I like my edition, though, despite its ugly yellow cover. Within, the type wavers across the page. It’s been set by hand and printed by machine. It’s an old book and holding it, training my eyes to ignore the uneven lines, is a wholly different experience to reading something on a stark white page or screen. As a reader, I traveled back in time with this book and revisited the reason I fell in love with Science Fiction.

Written for Vintage Science Fiction month.
Profile Image for Marsha.
Author 2 books33 followers
July 2, 2014
The dust jacket cover describes the characters in these stories as people for whom the future “suddenly happens”. That’s an excellent description. Real people abruptly fall into unreal dilemmas, dilemmas for which there are no easy or pleasant solutions. The future is full of tricks, traps or pitfalls. Even when you think you know what’s going to happen or that you’ve figured out the game, an invisible confidence man pulls out the ace he had up his sleeve. This collection of Mr. Brunner’s stories is therefore unsettling, surprising and gripping.
Profile Image for Roger.
1,060 reviews8 followers
April 23, 2020
John Brunner was a fierce talent and I never really appreciated that till recently. On the other hand this does give me another author whose backlog I am really interested in. From This Day Forward is chock full of good and thought provoking stories that are varied in length, setting, and style. Only one reread (Judas) but such a good story I had no problem experiencing it twice.
Profile Image for Chris Aldridge.
475 reviews8 followers
March 16, 2019
Mindwebs audiobook 49 is “Wasted on the Young” from this collection. Also in Galaxy April 1965. The 9th Galaxy Reader edited by Frederick Pohl.
Well this guy is scary. As a hedonistic person myself currently in debt up to my eyeballs, I’m not quite as bad as the protagonist. My fantasy of setting a bomb to blow up my flat after my inevitable demise, in order to send a big “stuff you” to the bank repossessors and the government, is rather spoiled, despite my being the last of my line, by Brunner’s insistence in this anecdote that society may eventually extract its pound of flesh. I’m not sure that even my love of space travel would protect me from the horrible fate awaiting this debtor. Excellent stuff....
Profile Image for Michael.
176 reviews3 followers
November 7, 2022
I love Brunner’s ability to look into the future. He doesn’t always go for moonshots but the little changes, the micro future he imagines is marvellous. These short stories are wonderful little peaks inside a brilliant mind.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,164 reviews
June 18, 2013
John Brunner is one of those authors that I should read more of; I first heard of his novel "The Sheep Look Up" during a mad rush of dystopian fiction, and after that, read several of his other novels. "Sheep" remains my favourite thus far, though this story collection is delightfully creepy. The stories address themes that recur throughout science fiction, including the elixir of life, foresight and prophecy, robots as gods, and the evolution of humankind, often in a gritty, urban, near future setting. Brunner skillfully brings each story to a haunting, disturbing or even ironic conclusion.

It may be difficult to track down this collection, but it is definitely worth reading.
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