John Kilian Houston Brunner (1934-1995) was one of the most successful and prominent British science fiction writers of the 20th century. Brunner displayed a talent for writing at a young age and began publishing science fiction in the early 1950s. He had an extremely prolific spell of writing in the early 1960s, publishing twenty-seven Hard-SF adventure stories. As the 1960s progressed, Brunner began to explore different literary styles, resulting in his dystopian masterpiece Stand on Zanzibar (1968), which gained him a Hugo Award and several other accolades. Brunner's subsequent dystopian novels, The Jagged Orbit (1969), The Sheep Look Up (1972) and The Shockwave Rider, also received critical acclaim. Whilst continuing to write science fiction, albeit less prolifically, Brunner's formidable intellect found an outlet in various other ways, including poetry and script-writing. He helped to establish the Science Fiction Foundation in 1970 and was a prominent figure in the British nuclear disarmament movement, writing the CND anthem The H-Bombs' Thunder. Brunner's writing reflects his humanitarian outlook and concern for what he called: "the central question of our time: will we, or will we not, survive the consequences of our own ingenuity?" (Foundation. No. 1, March 1972, p. 12).
The John Brunner Archive was bequeathed to the Science Fiction Foundation in 1995. It encompasses Brunner's extensive output of science fiction, including corrected typescripts of published and unpublished works, book and film proposals, film scripts and screenplays. Brunner's non-fiction work, including poems, song lyrics, articles, speeches and crossword puzzles, plus a collection of awards that features his 1969 Hugo Award for Stand on Zanzibar, are also contained in the archive.
The archive is fully listed and an online Finding Aid including further biographical information is available for browsing or searching.
All material in the John Brunner Archive is available to researchers for consultation in the University of Liverpool Library's Special Collections and Archives Reading Room by prior arrangement. Please read Using the Collections if you are considering visiting us.
Reproduction and Licensing rules are available upon request.
A small amount of correspondence from Joe De Bolt to John Brunner regarding a book of essays about Brunner exists in our Manuscripts Collection. Obituaries from The Guardian and The Independent are held in our Offprints Collection. Foundation: the international review of science fiction, no. 69, Spring 1997, is dedicated to John Brunner. Also, search our SF Catalogue for Brunner's works and related critical material. The Fantastic Fiction site contains a bibliography of Brunner's work.