Brian Aldiss
Science Fiction Grandmaster

Brian Aldiss

From our blog

Friendships: J.R.R. Tolkien

Mention has been made of the Inklings. This was the literary group which met frequently in the aforementioned pub, The Bird and Baby. The leading members were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. One was accustomed to seeing Tolkien bustling along in the Broad, clutching a copy of Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Primer.

Possibly he was then – even then!, as they say – awaiting publication of his mighty Lord of the Rings.

At that time, I – on a humbler level – had seen my novel Hothouse published. I gave a copy to C.S.Lewis, who, terribly friendly – liked it and bought a copy which he presented to Tolkien.

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Brian Aldiss: Thoughts on Leo Tolstoy’s Resurrection

Unlike many of the rest of us Brian states that he has one favourite novel – Tolstoy’s Resurrection. In fact he recently stated that it’s all he reads these days. Here are some exclusive notes from him on his passion for the book that has influenced him throughout his career.


Count Leo Tolstoi’s final novel was published in installments throughout 1898, in a magazine. In fact, in several magazines. Tolstoi was seventy years old in an exhausting year. Tolstoi had to check cuts made in his work by censors, week after week. Censors were not the writer’s only problem; closer to home, Sonya, Tolstoi’e wife, was unhappy about the sexual passages in the book.

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Friendships: Marie Bashkirtseff

Brian’s UK publishers The Friday Project is curating a series of short anecdotes that Brian has written about some of the many literary greats that he has been fortunate enough to know and meet over his illustrious career, and others that he has simply admired.

In a short series here on Brian’s blog we publish some appetisers ahead of their collated publication. We’ll be featuring the following friendships. For a list of all current friendship stories in the pipeline scroll down:

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