peteg's blog - noise - books - 2020 10 04 JohnBrunner ChildrenOfTheThunder

John Brunner: Children of the Thunder.

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Kindle. A thin conceit stretched to middling length, again derived from concepts explored by Asimov in Second Foundation, with the bromide that the progenitor of the emotional manipulation sorcery is not sterile. It's quite flabby; the capsule portraits of the children get repeated several times, and there's a lot of needless colour. Conversely he does succeed in recycling the structure of the fat Brunners; the newscasts are more hit than miss about where we are now relative to 1987 (consider BREXIT and increasing nationalism), and he does manage to meld the apparently irrelevant storylines together (somewhat). Add some A Clockwork Orange and he made bank for the year. Perhaps most interesting are his ruminations on how the futureless (aka generation Z) or rump left wing or reality-based community respond to neo-fascism and, well, futurelessness: it's not so different to ANTIFA, which in itself is a consequence of observing that nonviolent stuff'll get you killed. For all that the plot is weak with an unsatisfactory and entirely predictable twist.