John Brunner’s 1968 novel “Stand on Zanzibar” was set in 2010, and foresaw the 21st Century West pretty well, with “wearable technology, Viagra, video calls, same-sex marriage, the legalisation of cannabis, and the proliferation of mass shooting.”

Also, personalized news bubbles, the US rivalry with China, violent religious extremists, and artificial intelligence as a tool of big business.

Brunner was hugely prolific, writing more than 80 novels and short story collections despite dying in middle age; on a good day, he could pound out 5,000 words on a Smith-Corona typewriter. But the poor business climate for science fiction, and Brunner’s prickly personality, meant that he struggled financially.

www.bbc.com/culture/a…

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner