RIP, science fiction legend Brian W Aldiss

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RIP. My two short stories favorites of his are “The Failed Men,” and “An Appearance of Life.” There’s a sadness to them that almost chills, and I regularly re-read them.


My favorite by him is ‘Hothouse’.

And nothing wrong with anyone who writes poetry about cats.


I’ve always liked his “My Country, ‘Tis Not Only of Thee” – which is about a near future where Britain is engaged in a civil war between a socialist North and a capitalist South and as usual in these cases, the US gets involved. It is obviously a commentary on Vietnam, but the lessons apply to our current round of “nation building” as well.


It’s actually “Helliconia” with an extra “i” near the middle.


Hothouse was an eye opener when I was a kid - I read it in my early teens and it always stayed with me. Heliconia was good stuff too. The giants I grew up reading are almost gone…


Ah. This is a big one alright. RIP Mr. Aldiss. We were lucky to have you so long.

Just so - I reread Last Orders regularly; gotta love its gentle melancholy, its understated end-of-days ambience, and its wonderful paean to the irresistable allure of a good bar.


This has been a bad year for literature in Oxford*.

First Colin Dexter died, then Heathcote Williams, now Brian W Aldiss.

* It probably hasn’t been any worse than any other year, but it feels bad


Wrote wonderful and incredible stories.


As a very young boy, one of the first science fiction stories I ever read was “The Saliva Tree”. Along with Jack Vance and Theodore Sturgeon, Aldiss got me thoroughly, irredeemably hooked on SF. I took it from there and worked my way through just about all the great authors active during the 60’s. And because the adults in my world didn’t read it, I was incredibly lucky not to be subjected to the kind of censorship a little boy would normally have encountered.

I think I’m a better person for it, and I have to thank Brian Aldiss.


While I disliked the abrupt ending, I did like the grand ideas behind his ‘Manuscript Found in a Police State’.

A enormous prison is built as a wheel in a mountain, in which it takes 10 years for a cell to go into the mountain from the entrance before the prisoner comes back out. It moves by all the prisoners pulling on chains in their cells.

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