a of m

age of miracles by john brunner is probably the weakest of his books i’ve read so far, which still puts in the category of pretty good. it starts slowly, but the idea of an indifferent alien presence appearing on earth and causing chaos is strong enough for a good story to gel.


I'll agree A of M seems weak compared to books like Stand on Zanzibar. But for some reason or another, I've re-read A of M a couple of times and enjoyed it for what it was, a short story that ran away with itself. It easily could have lost 50 pages of the text. Perhaps, the novel needed a sweeping plot, but I think that the bleakness of the society it portrayed forced a downplayed treatment.

The characters of A of M reflect a poverty of spirit, consistant with a world occupation by unknowable alien forces which took little notice of humanity. That makes the characters inacessable to us. Who wants to identify with the defeated?

Rather than a struggle, it was an investigation that advanced the plot. The frustration of investigating an unexplainable event permeates the novel, it limps along under an overwhelming sense of futility and insignificance.

Players at the Game of People, another of Brunner's books also explores the result of unknowable alien influence on humanity, it also suffers from a bleakness of spirit in the face of inferiority and helplessness.

Some other authors you might enjoy are Octavia Butler or John Ford.

Monkey on, Jim!

» Dave (link) » june 29, 2004 9:47pm

add a comment

sorry, comments on this post are closed.