In this fascinating collection of essays, one of the world’s pre-eminent SF writers explores a wide range of SF and fantasy writers and writings. The contents and themes include a letter to Salvador Dali … Mary Shelley and Frankenstein … the Immanent Will and Olaf Stapledon … the work of Philip K. Dick … Theodore Hamilton Sturgeon … Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four … James Blish … Culture: Is it worth losing your balls for? … Wells and the Leopard Lady … H. P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Music of Erich Zann’ … Jekyll … the differences between US and UK fantasy … Anna Kavan as ‘Kafka’s Sister’ … Campbell’s Soup (Astounding Science Fiction under the editorship of John Wood Campbell) … SF’s relationship to science and literature in general.
Brian Aldiss is that rare phenomenon among writers, a critic as well as a major creative force, whose contemporary novels as well as his science fiction have met with great success. This present volume may be considered as a continuation of the discourse presented in Billion Year Spree and Trillion Year Spree (written with David Wingrove). Its scope is wide, its tone humane rather than academic.
FIRST EDITION: Liverpool University Press, 1995