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Brian Aldiss is one of the great figures in science fiction. Classics in the genre, his books serve as portals to other worlds, captivating readers with strange and shocking narratives that have been a force for further experimentation within the genre. In addition to a highly successful career as a writer of both fiction and science fiction, Aldiss is also an accomplished Brian Aldiss is one of the great figures in science fiction. Classics in the genre, his books serve as portals to other worlds, captivating readers with strange and shocking narratives that have been a force for further experimentation within the genre. In addition to a highly successful career as a writer of both fiction and science fiction, Aldiss is also an accomplished artist and literary critic. An Exile on Planet Earth presents a selection of Aldiss’s essays that look back at the landmark events in his life. Writing with eloquence and raw honesty, Aldiss reveals unexpected connections between his life and literary work. From boarding school and boyhood summers spent alone at the shore comes the lonely boy playing on the beach in Walcot. The bitter break-up of Aldiss’s first marriage is revealed to be the inspiration behind the post-apocalyptic Greybeard, in which a nuclear accident results in a world without children. Exile is a recurring theme throughout Aldiss’s work, and the essays shed light on the ways in which he identified with this theme and constructed elaborate metaphors informed by it. Also included is Aldiss’s introduction to H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds and an imagined conversation with English novelist Thomas Hardy. For the many fans of Aldiss’s weird and wonderful work, An Exile on Planet Earth offers a look at the man behind the books and short stories, including new insights into the events that fueled his creative talent, as well as reflections on his place in the genre and the cultural significance of science fiction as a whole. 


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Brian Aldiss is one of the great figures in science fiction. Classics in the genre, his books serve as portals to other worlds, captivating readers with strange and shocking narratives that have been a force for further experimentation within the genre. In addition to a highly successful career as a writer of both fiction and science fiction, Aldiss is also an accomplished Brian Aldiss is one of the great figures in science fiction. Classics in the genre, his books serve as portals to other worlds, captivating readers with strange and shocking narratives that have been a force for further experimentation within the genre. In addition to a highly successful career as a writer of both fiction and science fiction, Aldiss is also an accomplished artist and literary critic. An Exile on Planet Earth presents a selection of Aldiss’s essays that look back at the landmark events in his life. Writing with eloquence and raw honesty, Aldiss reveals unexpected connections between his life and literary work. From boarding school and boyhood summers spent alone at the shore comes the lonely boy playing on the beach in Walcot. The bitter break-up of Aldiss’s first marriage is revealed to be the inspiration behind the post-apocalyptic Greybeard, in which a nuclear accident results in a world without children. Exile is a recurring theme throughout Aldiss’s work, and the essays shed light on the ways in which he identified with this theme and constructed elaborate metaphors informed by it. Also included is Aldiss’s introduction to H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds and an imagined conversation with English novelist Thomas Hardy. For the many fans of Aldiss’s weird and wonderful work, An Exile on Planet Earth offers a look at the man behind the books and short stories, including new insights into the events that fueled his creative talent, as well as reflections on his place in the genre and the cultural significance of science fiction as a whole. 

28 review for An Exile on Planet Earth: Articles and Reflections

  1. 5 out of 5

    Norman

    I have begun to appreciate Aldiss' writings and this collection of his forewords and commentaries are no exception. The twelve 'essays' range from a 1960s visit to the Balkans, War of the Worlds, science-fiction writing to autobiography and the Gulags of Soviet Russia. All short and fascinating. The portrait on the cover by Anna Wimbledon is gorgeous too! I have begun to appreciate Aldiss' writings and this collection of his forewords and commentaries are no exception. The twelve 'essays' range from a 1960s visit to the Balkans, War of the Worlds, science-fiction writing to autobiography and the Gulags of Soviet Russia. All short and fascinating. The portrait on the cover by Anna Wimbledon is gorgeous too!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Guy Haley

    Aldiss is a grand old man of SF. He’s been there through the tail end of the short story magazine era, into the New Wave, and on to the digital now. And he’s still writing. He’s the author of one of my favourite books to boot – Non-Stop. In An Exile on Planet Earth, a collection of miscellanea, you’ll find out that Non-Stop was a big hit in Communist era Poland, along with much else. Alan Yentob’s introduction slightly seedily offers the prospect of emotional pain. That is not what one receives. A Aldiss is a grand old man of SF. He’s been there through the tail end of the short story magazine era, into the New Wave, and on to the digital now. And he’s still writing. He’s the author of one of my favourite books to boot – Non-Stop. In An Exile on Planet Earth, a collection of miscellanea, you’ll find out that Non-Stop was a big hit in Communist era Poland, along with much else. Alan Yentob’s introduction slightly seedily offers the prospect of emotional pain. That is not what one receives. Aldiss is of the old breed, his upper lip only unstiffens for a wry smile. His mother hated him, apparently. He dealt with it. He did not get on with his father. He dealt with that too. He used these hurts in his writings, and that’s that. This is a mellow read, a thoughtful look back over a life well lived by a man who understands himself. This is granddad talking in the pub. He rambles here and there, but it is wise stuff, old man stuff, and damn it, we should listen to old men. Only the lengthy episode on Yugoslavian churches didn’t tickle my fancy, a bit like someone else’s holiday photos. His words glow when he’s discussing Solzhenitsyn, Wells, and Hardy, or when he’s declaiming his passion for science and art. It’s short, and £19.99 is a high price, hence the mark. Add another star if you’re a big fan.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  4. 5 out of 5

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  5. 4 out of 5

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  6. 5 out of 5

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  15. 5 out of 5

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  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 5 out of 5

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