Tag Archives: science fiction

About Brian Aldiss

 

When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults.

Brian Aldiss

I just can’t Not Love an author quoted to say things like that.

Brian Aldiss is a character, as you can see from the interviews I linked below. He likes to provoke a reaction, and has been known to openly criticise the British literary establishment and its disdain for ‘genre’  – but Aldiss also doesn’t approve of genre-only readers.

…”I [the interviewer] quote to him something he wrote in 1990: “Just as the [literary] establishment is philistine about science, the bulk of the science-fiction readership is philistine about literature.” “Ha!” he cries gleefully, “offends both parties.”…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/brian-aldiss-pioneer-of-british-sci-fi-

 

And he has always known the value of the what-ifs and speculative fiction and how vast and fruitful the scifi genre could be. It’s more than just space ships and flights of fancy, new world with new creatures: more a mirror of what could be, or should be, if norms were challenged, or refused.

…”while it [science fiction] may take place in an alternate or future world, it deals with the present.”…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/The-World-Of-Brian-Aldiss/interview/

Brian Aldiss’ website is here, with all the information you can wish for, journals extracts, blog, latest publications and snippets of past and new work.

You can also find a detailed list of his work in the ISFDB, here.

What do you think?

Suggestions for reading*:

The Moment of Eclipse – short stories collection, this one from the 70s, but any of his collections, really.

Hothouse – symbiosis! With fungi!

NonStop – familiar seen by primitive eyes…

*it’s been several years since I read his books, so I will have to have a re-read before I can be more specific 🙂

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Writing in hiccups

I was thinking about history. In Italian (my mother tongue), there’s one noun for history and story: storia.

There’s no differentiation. It’s all narrative. Which I think makes its own sense, depriving history of its status as something separate, detached by a narrative that, as we know, is and can be constructed, performed, manipulated.

I was thinking about science fiction. How science fiction is the history of the future. A future. Imagined, perceived, feared, doesn’t matter. I like this idea, history and future in one. Antithetical and all-encompassing.

This image from Watchmen pivots on an imagined/fictional past of an imagined/fictional history diverging from a ‘factual’ one (please not the inverted commas, and the what ifs, and how history is contextual and in flux) in a film based on the graphic novel of the same title.*

*written by Alan Moore, art by Dave Gibbons. Go read it, it’s complex and a great part of it just wasn’t translatable on film, and whether it’s to your liking or not, it’s worth reading anyway

~~~

 In other news, my schedule is still erratic. Finishing the Master was a starting point, not a point of arrival, but while you’re sweating on essays and studying theory and experimenting with your own writing, the focus is on the dissertation, the going through, the ‘finishing’.

In my case, the Master collided with moving to a new city (with no previous support network in place); buying my first house and all the related responsibilities and choices; witnessing my mother’s passing (expected due to cancer, but the when and how…death is a stranger, uninvited, unknown, heartbreaking); my partner moving in with me.  In the space of two years,  quite some baggage to deal with and carry through. Not to mention what doing the Master meant in terms of accepting in myself the wish and need and pleasure of writing, and making it public (so to speak).

I’ve been lucky, in my life in general and in Edinburgh: I had great tutors at Napier, made true friends. But I see now how it all has come and crashed on me somewhat: I should not feel guilty about losing my focus, and instead work to regain it, because the passion and the pleasure of writing are all still here.

The strongest feelings are not necessarily loud, or dramatic. Sometimes they get whispered, and people don’t hear them. Doesn’t make them less strong.

So, onward, onward, always onward. With a smile.

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