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Brian Aldiss

Biography

I am regarded as a difficult author, because I write non-fiction as well as fiction, ordinary fiction as well as science fiction, and occasionally what is considered a difficult book; but in my experience the readership of sf, on its more informed level, is remarkably patient, and will always endeavour to comprehend what they at first find incomprehensible. Brian Aldiss: This World and Nearer Ones.

If you are wondering why Brian Aldiss appears here, the above should answer it. I am not sure whether it is a good thing or a bad thing but it is fairly obvious to any intelligent reader that the three most visionary English writers of the second half of the twentieth century are writers who are considered to be science fiction writers – namely Aldiss, J G Ballard and Christopher Priest – but who wrote work that might be described as crossover. Is Barefoot in the Head science fiction or not? Probably, but it is a lot more than that. Moreover, there aren’t many better books from late twentieth century England, whatever the genre. I have only written about three of his books here, though I have read most of them. There are other books that are clearly not science fiction, including the massively controversial Horatio Stubbs books – Hand-Reared Boy, A Soldier Erect and A Rude Awakening, which merit a recommendation in alt.sex.masturbation – Frequently Asked Questions.

Brian Aldiss was born in Dereham, Norfolk in 1925. His father ran a department store. He served in the Royal Signals Corps during World War II. After the army, he worked in a book shop in Oxford, which became the basis for his first novel, The Brightfount Diaries. He then published stories and started to earn more than his work in the book shop so became a full-time writer. He has since published numerous novels, short stories, essays, and books on science fiction and has edited many works as well. He died in 2017.

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Super-Toys Last All Summer Long (story by Aldiss)
Brian W. Aldiss – Summary Bibliography
Interview
Interview
Interview

Bibliography

1955 The Brightfount Diaries (novel)
1957 Space, Time and Nathaniel (US: No Time Like Tomorrow) (stories)
1958 Equator and Segregation (stories)
1958 Non-Stop (US: Starship) (novel)
1959 The Canopy of Time (US: Galaxies Like Grains of Sand) (stories)
1959 Vanguard from Alpha (novel)
1960 The Interpreter (US: Bow Down to Nul) (novel)
1961 The Male Response (novel)
1961 The Primal Urge (novel)
1962 Best Fantasy Stories
1962 Hothouse (US: The Long Afternoon of Earth) (novel)
1963 The Airs of Earth (US: Starswarm) (stories)
1964 The Dark Light Years (novel)
1964 Greybeard (novel)
1965 Best Science Fiction Stories of Brian W. Aldiss (Revised 1971)
1965 Earthworks (novel)
1966 Cities and Stones: a Traveller’s Jugoslavia (travel)
1966 The Saliva Tree and Other Growths (stories)
1966 The Best Science-Fiction Stories of Brian W. Aldiss (US: Who Can Replace a Man?)
1967 An Age (US: Cryptozoic!)(novel)
1968 Report on Probability A (novel)
1969 Barefoot in the Head (novel)
1969 A Brian Aldiss Omnibus (stories)
1969 Intangibles Inc. and Other Stories (US: Neanderthal Planet) (stories)
1970 The Hand-Reared Boy (novel)
1970 The Shape of Further Things: Speculations on Change (autobiography)
1971 The Moment of Eclipse (stories)
1971 A Soldier Erect (novel)
1971 Omnibus 2 (stories)
1972 The Book of Brian Aldiss (US: The Comic Inferno) (stories)
1972 Item Eighty Three (with Margaret Aldiss – a bibliography of his works to date)
1973 Billion Year Spree (history of SF, superseded by Trillion Year Spree)
1973 Frankenstein Unbound (novel)
1974 The Eighty Minute Hour (novel)
1975 Science Fiction Art
1976 The Malacia Tapestry (novel)
1977 Brothers of the Head (novel)
1977 Last Orders (stories)
1978 Enemies of the System (novel)
1978 A Rude Awakening (novel)
1978 Science Fiction as Science Fiction
1979 Brothers of the Head and Where the Lines Converge (stories)
1979 New Arrivals, Old Encounters: Twelve Stories (stories)
1979 Pile: Petals from St. Klaed’s Computer
1979 This World and Nearer Ones: Essays Exploring the Familiar (essays)
1980 Life in the West (novel)
1980 The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D.
1980 Moreau’s Other Island (novel)
1981 Foreign Bodies (stories)
1982 Farewell to a Child
1982 Helliconia Spring (novel)
1983 Best of Aldiss (stories)
1983 Helliconia Summer (novel)
1983 Science Fiction Quiz
1984 Seasons in Flight (stories)
1985 Helliconia Winter (novel)
1985 The Horatio Strubbs Saga
1985 The Pale Shadow of Science (essays)
1986 And the Lurid Glare of the Comet (essays)
1986 My Country ‘Tis Not Only of Thee: A Story of the World After the Vietnam War
1986 Trillion Year Spree (science fiction history)
1987 Ruins (novel)
1987 The Year Before Yesterday (novel)
1987 Cracken at Critical (revised version of The Year Before Yesterday)
1988 Man in His Time: the Best Science Fiction Stories of Brian W. Aldiss
1988 Best SF Stories of Brian W. Aldiss (stories)
1988 Forgotten Life (novel)
1988 Science Fiction Blues: the Show that Brian Aldiss Took on the Road: a Selection of his Best Stories, Poetry, and Speculations: an Evening of Wonders (stories)
1988 Sex and the Black Machine
1989 A Romance of the Equator: Best Fantasy Stories (stories)
1990 Bury My Heart at W.H. Smith’s: a Writing Life (autobiography)
1991 Bodily Functions (stories)
1991 Dracula Unbound (novel)
1992 Home Life With Cats (poetry)
1993 Remembrance Day (novel)
1993 A Tupolev Too Far and Other Stories (stories)
1994 Somewhere East of Life (novel)
1995 At the Caligula Hotel and Other Poems (poetry)
1995 Songs From The Steppes Of Central Asia (poetry)
1995 The Detached Retina: Aspects of SF and Fantasy (essays)
1995 The Secret of this Book (US: Common Clay: 20 Odd Stories) (stories)
1998 The Twinkling of an Eye (autobiography)
1999 When the Feast is Finished (with Margaret Aldiss) (autobiography)
1999 White Mars Or The Mind Set Free (with Roger Penrose) (novel)
2000 A Chinese Perspective (novel)
2000 A Plutonian Monologue on His Wife’s Death (poetry)
2000 Art after Apogee: The Relationships between an Idea, a Story, a Painting (with Rosemary Phipps)
2001 Super-Toys Last All Summer Long and Other Stories of Future Time (stories)
2002 Super-State (novel)
2002 The Cretan Teat (novel)
2002 At A Bigger House (poetry)
2002 The Dark Sun Rises (poetry)
2004 Affairs at Hampden Ferrers (novel)
2004 Jocasta (novel)
2005 Sanity and the Lady (novel)
2005 Cultural Breaks (stories)
2007 HARM (novel)
2008 A Prehistory of Mind (poetry)
2009 Walcot (novel)
2011 Mortal Morning (poetry)
2012 Finches of Mars (novel)
2013 Exile on Planet Earth : Articles and Reflections (essays)
2013 Comfort Zone (novel)