Sunday, 3 September 2017

R.I.P. Brian Aldiss.


  1. Not read Earthworks but I love Greybeard (seemingly ripped off for Children of Men although P.D. James indignantly denied it) and Hothouse. Got Barefoot in the Head but not got round to it yet - the scenario has always intrigued: population dosed with psychotropic weapons, leading to hallucinatory breakdown of British society, in which a prophet emerges leading a flock of delirious believers. Also got but not got round to his well-regarded history of s.f. Billion Year Spree (later updated as Trillion Year Spree). People swear by the Helliconia trilogy.

  2. It's also a very good name, Brian Aldiss - a proper British science fiction author's name. Sort of flat and sensible but not too ordinary.

    1. Yes, and it's almost-but-not-really an anagram of Algis Budrys.

      I recently got hold of an excellent book of interviews with SF authors, including our Brian, which I will do a post on soonish. Apparently he locked the interviewer in a cupboard for having given him a bad review.

  3. That is a fabulous cover as well.

  4. Thanks for your comments folks. Despite having just scanned and posted it, I've actually not read 'Earthworks' yet either -- it's next in line though in my recent (belated) quest to work through Aldiss's books.

    Thus far, 'Non-Stop', 'Hothouse', 'Greybeard' and 'Frankenstein Unbound' are all excellent, and make a good case I think for Aldiss to be considered on the level of seminal greatness as Dick, Ballard, Whyndham, Kneale etc, even though he never quite achieved the same "cool" rep.

    I agree on the name too. Perfect for this kind of low-key British SF. Not quite as striking and futuristic-sounding as Asimov or Zelazny, but... well I've never heard of anyone else named 'Aldiss', put it that way.