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Brown, James Cooke

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1921-2000) US sociologist and author who began publishing work of genre interest with "The Emissary" for Astounding in July 1952 as by Jim Brown, and in whose sf novel, The Troika Incident: A Tetralogue in Two Parts (1970), astronauts from the USA, France and the USSR are shot forward by a century. There they discover a Utopia – built on lines that combine Edward Bellamy and William Morris, with a jolt of free love, along with a worldwide communications network that resembles the twenty-first century Internet – before returning to a disbelieving present day. Earlier, Brown had invented Loglan (from "logical language"), an artificial language intended to test the now outmoded Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (that overeggs the truism that the structure of any language affects what can expressed through it) by being as different as possible from any natural language. Loglan has had uses in computer science – it is mentioned in passing as a means of communicating with the Computer in Robert A Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (December 1965-April 1966 If; 1966) – but legal restrictions placed by Brown on its use led to group development of the similar "open source" language Lojban. [JC/DRL]

James Cooke Brown

born Tagbilarin, Bohol, Philippines: 21 July 1921

died Tierra del Fuego, Argentina: 13 February 2000



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