Brian Aldiss (1925 - 2017)
By: Legacy Staff
12 months ago
Brian Aldiss, the acclaimed English science fiction writer, died Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, in Oxford, England.
His family shared the news via the writer’s Twitter account.
“It is with great sadness we announce the death of our beloved father & grandfather,” relatives wrote. “Brian died peacefully at home on his 92nd birthday [August 18].”
Aldiss wrote more than 100 books that included novels, poetry, short stories, and nonfiction.
His 1969 fiction short “Supertoys Last All Summer Long” served as the inspiration for director Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film, “AI: Artificial Intelligence.”
Aldiss was born in 1925 in Norfolk, England, the son of a department store operator. He started writing stories before he was 6. After graduating from Framlingham College, he served during World War II in 1943 as a member of the Royal Signals and was stationed in Myanmar.
After the war, he sold books in Oxford. He also began writing science fiction pieces for a number of magazines. His first book was 1955’s “The Brightfount Diaries,” a novel in the form of a diary recounting the life of a bookshop sales associate.
His fiction works over a span of seven decades include “Space, Time, and Nathanial Faber” (1957), “No Time Like Tomorrow” (1959), “The Primal Urge” (1961), “The Moment of Eclipse” (1970), the “Helliconia” trilogy of the early- to mid-1980s, and “Super-State Orbit” (2002). His last work of fiction was “Comfort Zone” (2013).
Aldiss also edited a number of anthologies including “The Year’s Best Science Fiction,” along with Harry Harrison, from 1968 to 1973.
Aldiss was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1990. He was honored as an officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire during Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday celebration in 2005.
In the U.S., the Science Fiction Writers of America made him its 18th grand master in 2000.
Authors Neil Gaiman and Adam Roberts were among the many notable writers who took to social media in reaction to the news of Aldiss’ death.
“This just hit me like a meteor to the heart: Brian Aldiss died on his 92nd Birthday. A larger than life wise writer,” Gaiman tweeted.
Roberts tweeted, “Genuinely very sorry to hear that Brian Aldiss has died: a giant” of science fiction.
Richard Chwedyk, an award-winning science fiction author from Chicago, paid tribute to Aldiss in a Facebook post. Chwedyk said Aldiss’ novella “The Saliva Tree” was “one of the works that got me started reading contemporary” science fiction.
“I had a chance to meet him back in ‘92 or ‘93 (I can’t remember) at Readercon, and found a sweet, caring person,” Chwedyk wrote. “I could disagree with him on many points but I always enjoyed the fearlessness of his opinions. I will miss his voice, his wit and his civility ...”
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