First Edition. Apparent 1st Edition--unstated but first appearance of book.
This copy is VG; the text is clear, bright, and unmarked except for dealer's stamps on fep; binding is tight, but pages show age and edges show some wear. The covers are also VG: intact, including color and design, but sunning and creasing on spine, pencil price inside rear cover, wear on edges and corners, signs of age.
We have a five star rating because of our fulfilment success and because our descriptions are accurate. More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Published by Ace. About this Item: Ace. Book Club Ed. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. From: Stuart W. Condition: Near Fine. First Edition, First Printing. Ace Code More information about this seller Contact this seller 9.
Published by Ace Books Inc. About this Item: Ace Books Inc. Condition: Fair. First Edition? Edge wear but not frayed. More information about this seller Contact this seller Condition: Fine. No Jacket. This is a fine copy of this knock-out Brunner novel, written when the author was at his most creative.
A clean, sharp copy with clean, blue boards and a tight, solid spine complemented by white, clean pages. A fine, clean copy of the book. No dw. Note that there is a small green sticker in the shape of an open book from the legendary Foyle's Bookshop in London's Charing Cross Road attached to the front pastedown. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. The boards are navy blue and in superb, sharp condition, just as the spine is spotlessly tight and solid and the pages clean and reassuringly white.
The dw is solid and complete without tears. There are some scratches confined to a half inch x one inch area at the bottom of the dw's front panel and there is a smaller area of discolouring on the rear panel, where sellotape was removed. Condition: Wie neu. Foremost among them is Matthew Flamen, a journalist who uses highly-advanced computer bots to mine the comweb for news to be used as expose material in his daily holo-show. Morgarth, a psychiatrist who promotes the ideology of strict individualism—an ideology which comes into question when inconsistencies in patient development and the state of those discharged is discovered.
These and other characters, including Pedro Diablo, a newsman like Flamen in one of the black enclaves, Lyla, a seer who uses a sybil drugs to present oracles, and Harry Madison, a patient at the Ginsberg with extraordinary technical skills, float in and out of the narrative, painting the scenes and bringing an ethnically divided America to life. Given the bleakness of the setting and the harsh manner in which the social concerns are presented, The Jagged Orbit is a dark, unsettling read.
The narrative dense and allusive—not in a poetic sense, but one referencing the world Brunner imagines—readers have much to chew over coming to terms with the background and its meaning. The feeling of uncertainty which arises due to being unfamiliar with the futuristic scene and frightened at the potential for unexpected chaos parallels the instability and ambiguity the characters themselves experience.
A Jagged Orbit, my journey through science fiction
As a result, the narrative possesses a very high re-read value and fully complements the intra- and extra-textual challenges. The shards of America are ugly but pointed. Likewise peppering the narrative are quotes from the eminent and fictional psychologist Xavier Conroy. Functioning the same as Chad Mulligan in Stand on Zanzibar , Conroy serves as a voice of reason amidst the social disorder and violence. Drowned out years before, he preaches from afar at a remote Canadian university.
And when he himself becomes involved in the plot, solutions are proffered, which like the causes, seem obvious but obviously need to be stated. Mirroring makers of today, the gun manufacturers of the novel mass-produce weapons and are concerned only with the individual purchase rather than the greater effect of their product on society. So what shape was the world in this morning? Even flatter than yesterday.
By noon, a fifteen-minute show to be compiled, processed, taped, approved, amended and slotted into the transmitters, and at this late stage nothing ready bar the two minutes and forty seconds of advertising.
Item after item from the list he had set to simmer overnight was being comped out as unusable, and his contract still had nine months to run. It was the climax of a long-recurrent nightmare. The planet had closed up like a weary clam and he, a starving starfish, lacked the strength to pry it open again. Pry open? With a convulsive effort he managed it; his eyelids parted and there was blue sky bright above the one-way armored glass of his bedroom ceiling.
He was alone in the room; he was alone in the house. He was profoundly glad of that. His heart was hammering on his ribs like a lunatic demanding to be let out of Bedlam and he was gasping for breath so violently he could never have framed a coherent sentence, not even a simple good morning. Though nobody could in reason be held responsible for the content of a dream, he felt horribly and unspeakably ashamed.
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Piecemeal, he grappled together the dispersed fragments of his personality until he had enough control over his limbs to get up. Superficially noted long ago, categorized as a quotable quote because it touched so directly on his line of work, a dictum by Xavier Conroy drifted out of his subconscious: "Western culture is undergoing a process of transition from guilt-oriented, with a conscience, to shame-oriented, with a morbid fear of being found out.
He looked around with bleary eyes at the luxury, the comfort, the security of his home, and found the place repulsive. He stumbled into the bathroom and swallowed a trank from the dispenser. It took effect while he was emptying his bladder and the world seemed marginally less threatening. He was able to reassure himself that so far he was managing to keep going, he was still in business, he was as yet continuing to lever the lids off countless secrets intended to stay hidden Nonetheless, before thinking about showering and eating and the other minutiae of civilized existence, he exorcised the ghosts of nightmare by going to the comweb and punching a direct line to his office computers.
Watched by the looped-tape cut of Celia playing over and over in its niche of honor, he sat naked in a clammy rotachair and struck head after head from the hydra of his apprehension. It was local-early yet—oh-seven-ten EST—but the small and shrunken planet nowadays existed in a zone of timelessness.
The items he had set to simmer while he slept had come along nicely: some cooked enough to be used today, some exuding juices with a promising smell. Gradually confidence returned to him. It was always a better medicine than tranks to realize that he was looking into the not three- but four-dimensional world deeper than almost anyone else. He forced himself to disregard the sniggering demon of doubt which kept quoting that remark of Conroy's and pointing out that if it were true sooner or later the whole western world would be conspiring to keep their shady actions from him. Ten, eight, even six years ago all the major networks had had their respective spoolpigeons; one by one they had faded away, some for making charges that could not be proved, others merely because they lost their audience, ceased to be able to irritate, provoke, excite.
The Jagged Orbit by John Brunner (ebook)
Was it because the world no longer admired an honest man as much as one who contrived to get away with dishonesty? And how honest is the man who makes a living by unmasking those who haven't completely succeeded in covering up their deceit? As though the questions had been put to him by someone else, Flamen glanced around uneasily. But all he saw move was the picture of Celia, going through its endless cycle. He turned back to the comweb screen, and selected the first and biggest of the dozen-odd items he had assigned for overnight comping.
Yes, indeed, it was true that Marcantonio Gottschalk had been snubbed by the absence of Vyacheslav Gottschalk and a number of other high-level pollies from his eightieth birthday celebration. It was hardly news that yet another power-struggle was going on within the cartel, but up till now details of who was taking whose side had been efficiently suppressed. Dare he risk a guesstimate as to which of the conventional protestations of illness—the Gottschalks were curiously conservative in a great many ways—had actually been lies?
The computers warned him not to; the cartel was far too big to tackle without really solid data. And yet his heart yearned for something big. It wasn't so much that his contract still had nine months to run, as his dream had warned, but more that it had only nine months to run, and unless he gaffed somebody really spectacular before the end of the low-audience summer season he would be, one with Nineveh and Tyre.