SF百科図鑑 Brunner "Jagged Orbit"


※上記の広告は60日以上更新のないWIKIに表示されています。更新することで広告が下部へ移動します。

11月10日~15日

めちゃめちゃ忙しくて日記の更新ができなかった。
ハリーポッターと炎のゴブレット読了、7点。終盤でウ゛ォルデモートが復活してから盛り上がって巻き返したが、あまりにも長過ぎる。プロットもここまで複雑にする必要があるのかどうか・・・。2、3巻を読んでないせいもあると思うが、私の海馬では登場人物を覚えきれないぐらいたくさん出て来る。三校対抗試合の3つの課題もややマンネリの気味がある。次作では新味を期待したい。それともうちょっと短くしてよ。2、3巻はコンパクト版が出たら読む予定。

これで、ヒューゴー賞・ネビュラ賞(過去の分)全作読破!!!
永年の夢が一つ叶った!!!
後でこっそり、独りで祝杯を上げる予定。
い、いかん、ひとりでに顔がにやけて来る。
HAPPY!!!!!
今後、少しずつ、旧作に対するコメントもしていきたい(受賞作リストのページ)。
もちろん、今後も毎年受賞作は出るので、油断禁物だが。


なお、次の課題は、少し休んでから、以下のどれかにする予定。
SFなら
英国SF協会賞(最有力)
デウ゛ィッド・プリングルの100冊
世界幻想文学大賞&ブラム・ストーカー賞
のいずれか。ミステリなら
「このミス」過去10年分のベストテン入賞作&乱歩賞&協会賞

というわけで結局、英国SF協会賞受賞作に決定しました。やっぱりミステリよりもホラーよりもファンタジーよりも、SFが好きだから。
まずは古いものから順を追って読んでいく。StandOnZanzibarは既読のため、次は、JaggedOrbitjagged orbitですね。
早速読もうっと。

読み始めた。
ザンジバーに立つと同じ文体ですね。世界像も近未来で近いかも。マシュー・フラーメンという男が番組制作をするためにインターネットからマーカントニオ・ゴッチョークなる人物の情報を得ようと四苦八苦する場面から始まる。次いで、ライラ・クレイという身持ちの悪い20歳の娘が男と目覚める場面。浮揚ベッド、透明スーツなどの未来の道具が色々出て来る。複数のサブストーリーを断片的に交互進行するザンジバー手法の作品である。1日10章読む予定。

11月18日

「歪んだ軌道」難解だ。「ザンジバーに立つ」も難しかったけど、同じスタイルの作品だ。ブラナーの英語は難しい。しかも造語が頻出するし、ストーリーもよく分からない。いろんなシーンが次々と連発され、ストーリーが進展しない。フラーメンの番組制作のパートと、ライラ・クレイという女のパートと、もう一つ病院のパートが交互に入り乱れる。相互の関連性はよく分からない。多分後半で、これらのストーリーが絡み合うのだろうが。全然内容が頭に入ってきません。困った。1日5章も読めればいい方だ。
あまりに難しいので、インターネットでレビュー検索。次の通りです。

<1>A review by Marc Goldstein

In his obituary for John Brunner, Robert Silverberg recalledBrunnerspeakingatan SF convention sometime in the early 90s. Brunner had agedbadly.Hisbelovedwife, Marjorie, had died recently, following acostly,prolongedillness. Hespoke openly about the collapse of his career: hisbesttitles werefalling outof print, and his blood pressure medication madeitdifficult forhim to write.From the podium, he begged publishers in theaudienceforcopy-editing work tohelp him pay off his medical bills. Later,Brunnerstoppedtaking his medicationwith the hope of reviving his writingcareer. Hedied ofa massive stroke in1995. It was a tragic end for one of ourmostimportantscience fictionauthors.
During a period from the late 60s through the mid-70s JohnBrunnerwrotefourground-breaking dystopian novels: Stand on Zanzibar, TheJaggedOrbit,TheSheep Look Up, and The Shockwave Rider. It is for thisquartetof"awfulwarnings" that Brunner is most famous. These dense,multi-layerednovelstouchon a number of themes, but each claims a single centralissueasitsfoundation. Zanzibar has overpopulation, Sheeptacklespollution,ShockwaveRider presages the computer revolution, and JaggedOrbittakes onracism. Ineach case, Brunner extrapolates the central theme toitsmosthorrificconclusions, illustrating its consequences on all aspectsofhumansociety.
The Jagged Orbit opens sometime in the early 21st century, whentheU.S.hasbecome divided into racially separate city-states of blacks(calledknees)andwhites (knee-blanks). These enclaves clash with each other in akindofcoldcivil war. Against this backdrop, Michael Flamen carries onasthelastspoolpigeon, a muckraking gossip reporter with hisowndailytelevisionnewsmagazine. For months his show has been interruptedbymysteriousstaticinterference. Flamen believes that the network is conspiringtoforce himoffthe air (to fill his time slot with infomercials).Hisinvestigation intothesource of the interference accidentally uncoversaconspiracy withintheGottschalk gun-dealing cartel. The Gottschalk's makealiving preying ontheracial fears of both sides, selling enough weapons tooneside to maketheother want more. Flamen suspects they have influenced theI.N.S.to allowknownracial separatist and terrorist Morton Lenigo intothecountry.
Flamen goes to visit his wife, Celia, who is a patient attheMogshackmentalclinic. He arrives on a special day; one of the doctorshasinvitedapythoness, a woman who speaks prophecies while under theinfluenceofpowerfulhallucinogens, to perform for the patients. Lyla Clay,thepythoness,and herstrange performance draw Flamen into another civil wargoingon behindthescenes at the hospital.ハ Dr.ハMogshack's treatmentmethods,which relyoncomputers to profile ideal human behaviour, seem to strippatientsoftheirunique personalities.ハ Dr.ハXavier ConroyvehementlyopposesMogshack'sprogram, but Conroy's inability to compromise hasexiled himto ateaching postat a minor Canadian college.
Xavier Conroy represents the voice of reason, and serves asaBrunnermouthpiece(a role filled by Chad C. Mulligan in Zanzibar, andAustinTrain inSheep). ButBrunner is far too canny a writer to allow hischaracters towrestaway hiscontrol of the narrative (as Heinlein's charactersoften did).Brunnerclearlyhas an agenda, but the didacticism never gets tooheavy-handed.Infact, Brunnerfrequently undercuts the authority of Conroy, andtakes painstomake him arealistically flawed character.
Flamen joins forces with Lyla Clay, Xavier Conroy, exiledkneepropagandistPedroDiablo, and Harry Madison, a knee mental patient with agiftforelectronicsengineering. As the country teeters on the brink ofopenracialwarfare, theyinvestigate the connections between the Gottschalkguncartel,Dr.ハMogshack,and the interference with Flamen'sspoolpigeonshow.Unfortunately, the finalehinges upon not one, but two instancesof deusexmachina: a time-travellingrobot and a character whocantelekineticallyinfluence broadcast transmissions.While these flaws dulltheimpact of theclimax, they don't dilute the optimismof the novel's epilogue--perhaps themost generously hopeful conclusion ofBrunner's awful warnings.
The Jagged Orbit is usually regarded as the weakest of thefourawfulwarnings.Perhaps this is because it lacks the focused hook of theothernovels.Racism,gun violence, drugs, dependence on computers, and mentalhealthfigureas keyissues in Jagged Orbit, but none really captures centrestage.Thenovel'scentral theme is really the more ambiguous concept ofisolation:howtechnologycan be used to create and exploit rifts between people.Theensemblecast and amulti-threaded plot (signature elements of Brunner'sstyle)weavetogether in away that reinforces the novel's thematic movementfromisolationtounification.
Critics also suggest that The Jagged Orbit hasn't aged as wellasBrunner'sotherworks. True, its depiction of a United States separatedintoraciallydividedcity-states more closely represents the anxieties ofthelate-60s thanthecurrent racial climate, where most of the questionsswirlaroundintegrationrather than separation. However, Brunner's insightintogunviolence, drug abuse,and our over-reliance upon technologystillfeelsrelevant.
Brunner's four awful warnings received high praise. ZanzibarwontheHugo.Shockwave Rider gets credited for being the first noveltopredictcomputerviruses. Sheep is regarded as the one of the bestspeculativenovelsabout theeffects of environmental pollution. And Jagged Orbitwasnominated fora Nebula(going up against Slaughterhouse Five and The Left HandofDarkness,whichwon). And yet all four sold below expectations and havefallenout ofprintmany times. That's why it's especially sweet to seethisGollanczeditionreprint. The Jagged Orbit is an absorbing, immersive novelthat,30years afterits publication, still offers useful insight intothethornyproblems thatcontinue to draw people apart. It deserves to be inprint;itneeds to beread.
Undoubtedly, Brunner's awful warnings make for grim reading,butthatdidn'tprevent the bleak dystopias of Orwell's 1984 or Huxley's BraveNewWorldfromachieving lasting success. Some critics have labelledBrunnerasanti-American,and perhaps this comes closer to explaining his lackoffinancialsuccess.Orwell and Huxley's dystopic visions are morepalatablebecause theylampoontotalitarian societies, and consequently, reinforcethe wayAmericanreadersview their country as the land of freedom and prosperity.It'snot byaccidentthat both novels are staples in American classrooms. Brunner,ontheotherhand, aims his satiric barbs directly at the heartofAmericanculture.Clearly, the anti-American charge would never be madeifBrunnerhappened to bea U.S. citizen (he was British). In any case,theaccusationrings oflatter-day McCarthyism, a simple-minded way to dismissanycriticism ofU.S.culture and policy, no matter how valid. Along the sameline,Brunner hasbeendubbed misanthropic. Either way, I have always readBrunner'sawfulwarnings asdark satire and felt that he was critical ofignoranceandindifference becausehe cared deeply about making the world abetterplace.Brunner was a vocalpolitical activist; he walked the walk. LikeChadC.Mulligan screaming "I loveyou all!" at the end of Zanzibar, Brunnerheldamirror up to reflect ourfoibles because he wanted to saveusfromourselves.

<2>
ハ This novel, which followed on the heels of Brunner'smasterpieceStandonZanzibar, is one of his most trenchant dystopias, yet it isasirresistibleasit is biting. A richly deserving winner of the British SFAward,it may beoneof the best and most entertaining and accessible examplesofsociallyconscious(for lack of a better term) SF ever written,demandingrepeatedreadings beforeyou have peeled away all of its layers. Andit'sremarkable howrelevant thestory still seems today, despite the fact that itisclearly aproduct of itsturbulent times. Brunner was always a canny observerofhumannature, and, ashe does in so many of his best books, he reminds ushow,wheresome things areconcerned, the more things change the more theystaythesame.
The story is set in 2014 New York, and the world at large hasbeenovercomebyparanoia and social unrest, which has found its mostextremeexpressioninracial division. Blacks are called "knees" and whites"blanks,"andsegregatedknee enclaves exist throughout the US asself-governingentities.Moreover,this state of affairs is actually perpetuatedby the powersthat be,who findit more profitable to pander to humanity's fearsandcollectiveinsanity thanto help us rise above itムand if a riot has tobequelled bytaking out wholecity blocks with missiles, then so be it.Meanwhile,everydaycitizens areexploited by arms dealers like the Gottschalks,who promotetheidea ofsecurity through greater firepower; as one character putsit, "theyliveoffthe carrion of our mutual distrust and bribe us with symbolsthatequatehatredwith manhood." (Could one make the same criticism of thegunculture inAmericatoday? Or of some religions? Hmmm...)
Brunner's elaborate canvas is decked out in manymemorablecharacterportraits.Matthew Flamen is a "spoolpigeon," a sort oftabloid-TVjournalist orradioshock jock who chases after rumors and specializesinuncovering thedirtylaundry of prominent public figures and corporationsforthepublic'sentertainment. Flamen's wife has for some timebeeninstitutionalizedunder thecare of one Elias Mogshack, a psychologistwhobelievesthatinstitutionalization in a culture of such extreme socialunrestisperfectlynormal and desirable, and preaches a philosophy of"individualism"sodogmaticthat his most "successful" patients have becomewithdrawnintothemselves pastthe point of no return. One of theinstitution'sdoctorsarranges a performanceby a "pythoness," a young woman namedLyla Claywho,mainly through theassistance of psychoactive drugs, possessesthementalability to empathizewith the mentally ill and hopefully draw them outoftheirmalaise. Theperformance fails spectacularly, though not through anyfaultofLyla's, givingFlamen and Dr. Jim Redeeth all the proof they needthatMogshackand his wholehospital are a farce and setting them on a coursedesignedtobring down thisman whose influence in society as a whole is gettingtoostrongforcomfort.
Mixed in with all of this are enough subplots to makeentirenovelsuntothemselves, all of which feature brilliantly realizedcharactersand,what'smore, all of which are woven together with masterfulprecisionasBrunnerpropels his novel to its breathless finale. Brunner alsoshows amasteryofdialogue that you won't find too often in SF, even in manyofBrunner'sothernovels; even chapters which involve little morethanphilosophicaldebatearen't the least bit preachy and dull. It's like you'reat aparty lateatnight listening to your friends, assuming, that is, thatyouhavefriendspredisposed to entertaining philosophical argument. Those ofyouwhoneverthought that an SF novel rooted mainly in ideas couldbeaslightning-paced andexciting as the best space opera are in forasurprisingtreat. But what's evenmore satisfying is the way Brunner can keepyourooted toyour chair androoting for the book while everything that's going onisequalparts funny anddisturbing.
While Stand on Zanzibar is one of the very few Brunner novelsstillinprinttoday, and deservedly so (you have to hit the used book storestogetmostanything by Brunner nowadays), there's no reason for The JaggedOrbitnotto bein print and sitting on the shelves right alongside it.Perhapssomeonewillre-release it someday; I honestly think that in post-LAriotsAmerica, inacountry where racial divisions and bigotry are stilldeeplyentrenched,thisundidactic, witty, and electrifying novel is as relevantas everandshouldfind a whole new generation of fans.

<3>
The Jagged Orbit
John Brunner

Review date: 23/10/98
Publisher: Arrow
Published: 1970

Brunner's four most famous novels take an aspect of today'ssocietyandexaggerateit, to create dystopias which are compelling because ofthe waytheyrelate to ourfears for the future. Stand on Zanzibar, the bestknown, isaboutthe populationexplosion; The Sheep Look Up environmentalpollution;ShockwaveRider computersand privacy; and Jagged Orbit racerelations. They alluse asimilar technique,with news items interrupting thenarrative and with astronginvolvement fromwhistle-blowing academics. The SheepLook Up and JaggedOrbiteven share acharacter, the idiot US president Prexy,whom I have beentold isan exaggeratedpicture of Ronald Reagan, then governorofCalifornia.
Of the four, Jagged Orbit perhaps works least well. It doesn't matchthepowerofStand on Zanzibar, the chilling realism of The Sheep Look Uporthenarrativeinterest of Shockwave Rider. It has the interestingdifferencethatas well asincluding fictional news stories from 2018, when it isset, ithaschapters whichare reprints of real news stories from 1968,concerningraceriots and what mightbe done about them. Brunner's idea is thatnothing isdoneto help thedisadvantaged non-white population of America'sinnnercities,which leads toincreasing militancy and eventually an arms race asarmsdealersbegin to exploitthe market potential provided by individualsterrifiedby thethreat of the otherside of the racial divide.
The reason that Jagged Orbit is less successful is that the plotdependsontheintroduction of two far fetched elements, which are notgiventhemeticulousbackground of the rest of the novel. These are a womanwhosemindinterfereswith television broadcasts and a time-travellingcomputer.Neitherwould beimpossible in a science-fiction novel, but the lackofjustificationgiven themcompared to everything else is a big problem,makingthem appear tobe randomdevices introduced only to provide an ending toanout-of-hand plotline.
Despite the careless plot, Jagged Orbit is worth reading forismainlyconvincingbackground and its spirited attack on racism.

ということだ。要するに人種問題を扱っているらしい。アメリカが黒人政府(「膝」)と白人政府(「膝なし」)に分かれているとか。主人公フラーメンは、TV人気ゴシップ番組制作者(糸巻き鳩と呼ばれる)だが、番組中に妨害電波が入るようになり調査を開始する。その過程でゴチョーク・カルテルが両陣英に武器を売り込んで「冷たい戦争」をけしかけていることがわかる。ある日フラーメンが入院中の妻を訪ねたとき、偶然訪れた霊媒のライラ・クレイのパフォーマンスを見る。それによって病院内で治療法を廻って争うモグシャックとコンロイの暗闘をまのあたりにする。フラーメンは、コンロイ、ライラ、プロパンガンディストのディアブロ、患者/エンジニアのマディスンとともに、ゴチョークカルテルとモグシャックの闇のつながり、航時機能を有するロボットや情報転送過程に介入する能力を有する人物が番組妨害を行っていたことを暴く。というような話らしい。
ストーリーが分かってしまった。これでもう読まなくていい。いや一応読むけど。しかしインターネットって有り難いね。僕のような馬鹿でも知ったかぶりができる。


11月19~24日

(略)。キルビルとかも見なきゃいけないとは思うんだけど、(略)。あっ、jaggedorbitは少し進んだよ。だんだん面白くなってきた。短いパートが目まぐるしくテンポよく移り変わる。ザンジバーみたく後半はアクション小説になりそうで嬉しい。



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2ちゃんねる



370 名前: 名無しは無慈悲な夜の女王 03/12/14 23:22
ブラナー JAGGED ORBIT
題名は、「跛行軌道」とか、「迷走軌道」って感じか。
近未来政治SF。アメリカの人種隔離政策が極限までいき、黒人白人が
別々に住み別々の機構に統治されてるというような設定らしい。
コンピュータネットワークが発達した社会。
人気ドキュメンタリー番組の制作者の番組に入る妨害電波の真相究明、
ある精神病院内部の確執、他人の精神に同期できる能力を持つ巫女、
治安を悪化させながら武器を売り込む武器商社の話などが
互いにからみあいながら、次第にプロットが一つにまとまっていく。
ストーリーの合間に短い引用パートが入る構成は、ザンジバーとかと同じ。
似た作風の作家がいない点では、非常にユニークとは思うが、
ストーリーは、強引にまとめすぎていまいち。点数は7点ぐらいか。