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Acclaimed science fiction writer Brian Aldiss dies, aged 92

PUBLISHED: 16:24 22 August 2017

Brian Aldiss. Picture: Wendy Aldiss

Brian Aldiss. Picture: Wendy Aldiss

Aldiss Photography

Critically-acclaimed science-fiction author Brian Aldiss OBE has died, aged 92.

Science fiction author Brian Aldiss visits his old home at Dereham, St. Withburga House - 14th January, 1988. Picture: Archant libraryScience fiction author Brian Aldiss visits his old home at Dereham, St. Withburga House - 14th January, 1988. Picture: Archant library

Mr Aldiss was born in 1925 above a draper’s shop in Dereham and lived in Norfolk until his teenage years.

He died at his home in Oxford in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mr Aldiss wrote science-fiction classics Non-stop, Hothouse and Greybeard.

His writing spanned genres and generations, bridging the gap between classic science fiction and contemporary literature with his Helliconia Trilogy and Thomas Squire Quartet.

His son, Tim Aldiss, said: “Dad was always fond of Norfolk and would come back for holidays at Blakeney and around north Norfolk.

“Tim Aldiss from the Aldiss store is a distant cousin, so we’d always make sure we drove through Fakenham on the way up.”

A friend and drinking companion of Kingsley Amis and correspondent with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Mr Aldiss was a founding member of the Groucho Club in London and a judge on the 1981 Booker Prize.

Awarded the Hugo Award for Science Fiction in 1962 and the Nebula Award in 1965, Mr Aldiss’s writings were well received by the critics and earned a strong following in the United States and in Britain as well as being widely translated into foreign languages.

Tim Aldiss added: “Dad wrote science fiction at the time of the moon landings and during the space race, when everyone was looking up at the stars. “He said there were two types of writer - one that makes you think and one that makes you wonder. He put himself in the latter. His writing encouraged readers to explore their own minds.”

Among his considerable body of short fiction are the Supertoys stories, adapted for film as A.I., on which Mr Aldiss collaborated with Stanley Kubrick for over a decade before its completion by Steven Spielberg.

In 2000 Mr Aldiss was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Reading and received the title of Grandmaster from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

He was honoured by the Queen for services to Literature with the OBE in the 2005 Birthday Honours list.

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