With more than 100 books, Brian Aldiss is one of the pioneers of British science fiction

Photo: John Lawrence

In celebration of his forthcoming 90th birthday, Jake Kerridge of THE TELEGRAPH profiles the legendary Brian Aldiss.

Brian Aldiss, one of the pioneers of British science fiction, has written or edited more than 100 books. He has met Dylan Thomas, John Masefield and T S Eliot, been a drinking buddy of Kingsley Amis (“Kingsley would land one in a lot of trouble, I have to say”), and shared a Jacuzzi with Doris Lessing. He spent years enduring the caprices of Stanley Kubrick as they worked on a screenplay of Aldiss’s story “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long”, a project that eventually became Steven Spielberg’s A.I. – “a lousy film,” he says.

It has been a long and full life, then, and most of it is encompassed in an outsized German safe in the kitchen of his home in Oxford. Creaking a little at the age of 89 years and 11 months, Aldiss leans down to open the safe door and reveal a stack of red hardback notebooks: the 81 volumes of his journal.

“For my forthcoming birthday I’m giving a party here and I am determined to put these bloody things on display because nobody’s ever seen them,” he says. “Alison, that’s the lady friend, has had a look, but nobody else has. I don’t. They’re going to the Bodleian when I die, they can’t wait.”

Read the rest of the feature at THE TELEGRAPH.

For more info on CULTURAL BREAKS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by John Picacio.