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John Kilian Houston Brunner
Born 24 September 1934(1934-09-24)
Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Died 26 August 1995 (aged 60)
Occupation Novelist
Nationality British
Genres Science fiction
Notable work(s) Stand on Zanzibar,
The Shockwave Rider,
The Sheep Look Up
Official website

John Kilian Houston Brunner (24 September 1934 – 26 August 1995) was a prolific British author of science fiction novels and stories. His 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar, about an overpopulated world, won the 1968 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel. It also won the BSFA award the same year. The Jagged Orbit won the BSFA award in 1970.



Galactic Storm, 1951.

He was born at Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at Cheltenham. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, published under the name of Gill Hunt, but did not write full time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie Rosamond Sauer on 1958-07-12. His health began to decline in the 1980s, and worsened with the death of his wife Marjorie in 1986. He remarried, to Li Yi Tan, on 27 September 1991. Brunner died of a stroke in Glasgow, Scotland on 25 August 1995, while attending the World Science Fiction Convention there. Brunner was popular in science fiction fandom in his native Britain.

Literary works

At first writing conventional space opera, he later began to experiment with the novel form. His 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar, about overpopulation, won the 1969 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel. It also won the BSFA award the same year. The Jagged Orbit won the BSFA award in 1970. His novel The Sheep Look Up (1972) was a prophetic warning of ecological disaster. Brunner is credited with coining the term "worm" in his 1975's proto-Cyberpunk novel The Shockwave Rider, in which he used it to describe software which reproduces itself across a computer network. His pen names include: K. H. Brunner, Gill Hunt, John Loxmith, Trevor Staines, and Keith Woodcott.

As well as his fiction, he wrote many unpaid articles in a variety of publications, particularly fanzines, but also 13 letters to the New Scientist and Physics Education (1971) volume 6 pages 389-391 "The educational relevance of science fiction" by John Brunner. Brunner was an active member of CND and wrote the words to The H-Bomb's Thunder which was sung on the Aldermaston Marches. He was a linguist and Guest of Honour at the first European Science Fiction Convention Eurocon-1 in Trieste in 1972.



  • Galactic Storm (1951) (as Gill Hunt)
  • The Man from the Big Dark (1958)
  • The 100th Millennium (1959) (revised in 1968 as Catch a Falling Star)
  • The Brink (1959)
  • Echo in the Skull (1959) (revised in 1974 as Give Warning to the World)
  • Threshold of Eternity (1959)
  • The World Swappers (1959)


  • The Atlantic Abomination (1960)
  • Imprint of Chaos (1960)
  • Sanctuary in the Sky (1960)
  • The Skynappers (1960)
  • Slavers of Space (1960) (revised in 1968 as Into the Slave Nebula)
  • I Speak for Earth (1961) (as Keith Woodcott)
  • Meeting at Infinity (1961)
  • Put Down This Earth (1962) (revised in 1963 as The Dreaming Earth)
  • The Ladder in the Sky (1962) (as Keith Woodcott)
  • No Future in It (1962) short story collection
  • Secret Agent of Terra (1962) (revised in 1969 as The Avengers of Carrig)
  • The Super Barbarians (1962)
  • Times Without Number (1962) (expanded in 1969) short story collection
  • Spoil of Yesterday (1962) (Novelette, Science Fiction Adventures: pp2–40, 5:25)
  • The Word Not Written (1962) (Novelette, Science Fiction Adventures: pp62–100, 5:26)
  • The Fullness of Time (1962) (Novelette, Science Fiction Adventures: pp2–42, 5:27)
  • The Astronauts Must Not Land (1963) (revised in 1973 as More Things in Heaven)
  • Castaways' World (1963) (revised in 1974 as Polymath)
  • The Dreaming Earth (1963) (revision of Put Down This Earth)
  • Listen! The Stars! (1963) (revised in 1972 as The Stardroppers)
  • The Psionic Menace (1963) (as Keith Woodcott)
  • The Rites of Ohe (1963)
  • The Space-Time Juggler (1963) (also published as The Wanton of Argus)
  • To Conquer Chaos (1964)
  • The Crutch of Memory (1964)
  • Endless Shadow (1964)
  • The Whole Man (1964) (also published as Telepathist)
  • The Altar at Asconel (1965) (also published as The Altar on Asconel)
  • The Day of the Star Cities (1965) (revised in 1973 as Age of Miracles)
  • Enigma from Tantalus (1965)
  • The Long Result (1965)
  • The Martian Sphinx (1965) (as Keith Woodcott)
  • Now Then! (1965) (also published as Now Then) short story collection
  • The Repairmen of Cyclops (1965)
  • The Squares of the City (1965)
  • Wear the Butcher's Medal (1965)
  • Born Under Mars (1966)
  • Break the Door of Hell (1966)
  • The (Compleat) Traveler in Black (1966)
  • The Evil that Men Do (1966)
  • No Other Gods But Me (1966) short story collection
  • A Planet of Your Own (1966)
  • Born Under Mars (1967)
  • Out of My Mind (1967) short story collection
  • The Productions of Time (1967)
  • Quicksand (1967)
  • Bedlam Planet (1968)
  • Catch a Falling Star (1968) (revision of The 100th Millennium)
  • Father of Lies (1968)
  • Into the Slave Nebula (1968) (revision of Slavers of Space)
  • Not Before Time (1968) short story collection
  • Stand on Zanzibar (1968)
  • The Avengers of Carrig (1969) (revision of Secret Agent of Terra)
  • Black Is the Color (1969)
  • Double, Double (1969)
  • The Evil That Men Do (1969)
  • The Jagged Orbit (1969)
  • A Plague on Both Your Causes (1969) (also published as Backlash)
  • Timescoop (1969)
  • Times Without Number (1969) (expanded from Times Without Number (1962)) short story collection


  • The Devil's Work (1970)
  • The Gaudy Shadows (1970)
  • The Wager Lost By Winning (1970)
  • Dread Empire (1971)
  • Good Men Do Nothing (1971)
  • Honky in the Woodpile (1971)
  • The Traveler in Black (1971) (revised and expanded in 1987)
  • Trip: A Sequence of Poems Through the U.S.A. (1971) short story collection
  • The Wrong End of Time (1971)
  • The Dramaturges of Yan (1972)
  • Entry to Elsewhen (1972) short story collection
  • From This Day Forward (1972) short story collection
  • The Sheep Look Up (1972)
  • The Stardroppers (1972) (revision of Listen! The Stars!)
  • Age of Miracles (1973) (revision of The Day of the Star Cities)
  • More Things in Heaven (1973) (revision of The Astronauts Must Not Land)
  • The Stone That Never Came Down (1973)
  • Time-Jump (1973) short story collection
  • Give Warning to the World (1974) (revision of Echo in the Skull)
  • A Hastily Thrown Together Bit of Zork (1974) short story collection
  • Polymath (1974) (revision of Castaways' World)
  • Total Eclipse (1974)
  • Web of Everywhere (1974) (also published as The Webs of Everywhere)
  • What Friends Are For (1974)
  • The Shockwave Rider (1975)
  • The Book of John Brunner (1976) short story collection
  • Interstellar Empire (1976)
  • The Things That Are Gods (1979)



  • A Case of Painter's Ear (1991) (posthumous)
  • A Maze of Stars (1991)
  • Muddle Earth (1993)
  • Tomorrow May Be Even Worse (1997) (posthumous) short story collection


  • Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. pp. 70�72. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.  
  • Daily Telegraph 25 September 1995, page 23, Obituary of John Brunner

External links

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