The Jagged Orbit
Reviewed date: 2018 Nov 28
I found a detailed review online, so I'm not going to recap the whole story. Fantastic Worlds: Retro Review - John Brunner, The Jagged Orbit (cached)
John Brunner predicts the internet and video chat...
The world of The Jagged Orbit is connected by the comweb, which functions very much like the modern Internet. All the world's computers and information are connected. John Brunner predicts video chat, just like many other SF writers, but unlike other writers, he went so far as to predict the comweb would lead to entire relationships being conducted online, without the couple ever actually meeting.
...but not texting
But as prescient as he was, Brunner (like most other SF writers) failed to predict texting, emoji, and likes. Technology makes communication easier, faster, and take less effort. It's less effort to click Like than to start a video chat.
It was a chore to read. There's a decent story in there, but Brunner gets in his own way. If he'd told the story straight it would be good or even great. As it is, it's just passable.