It was carnival time on Earth. Prosperity was at its peak; science had triumphed over environment; all human needs were taken care of by computers, robots and androids. There was nothing left for humans to do but enjoy, themselves . . . to seek pleasure where they found it, without inhibitions and without thinking of the price.
Then an android died - in a senseless, brutal murder. And young Derry Horn was shocked out of his boredom and alienation. His life of flabby ease had not prepared him for a fantastically dangerous mission to outlying, primitive stars - but now, at last, he had a reason for living. And even when he found himself a prisoner of ruthless slavers, even when he learned the shocking truth about what the androids really were and where they came from . . . even when he saw all the laws of the orderly, civilised universe he knew turned upside-down and inside-out . . . he fought on.
For that universe had to be shattered and reborn - even if Derry Horn and the Earth he had irrevocably left behind died in the process!
(First published 1968)
John Brunner (1934-1995) was a prolific British SF writer. In 1951, he published his first novel, Galactic Storm, at the age of just 17, and went on to write dozens of novels under his own and various house names until his death in 1995 at the Glasgow Worldcon. He won the Hugo Award and the British Science Fiction Award for Stand on Zanzibar (a regular contender for the `best SF novel of all time') and the British Science Fiction Award for The Jagged Orbit.