Brian Aldiss

Earthworks

Publisher’s Blurb
Out of Africa comes a dead man walking upon the water – a portent of the political adventures into whichj Knowle Noland, ex-convict, ex-traveller and captain of the 80,000-ton freighter Trieste Star, is about to tumble headlong.
Choked, disease-ridden towns, robots and prison gangs tending the bare, poison drenched countryside are all characteristic of Knowle’s world; only in Africa is the soil still fertile and the people still relatively vital. On the coast of Africa, near Walvis Bay, Knowle runs his freighter aground; and there he meets Justine and the destructive destiny that purges him of guilt and frees him from hallucination.
Brian Says

Earthworks is a bleak and hallucinatory vision of Malthusian over-population, enlarged from the novella Skeleton Crew, where criminals are condemned to work on the polluted land. Knowle Noland decides in the end that to precipitate world war might be a way of starting over again: more a sixties solution than an eighties one.

FIRST EDITION: Faber & Faber, 1965

1. Faber & Faber, London, 1965 Hardcover
2. Doubleday, New York, 1966 Hardcover
3. Four Square Books, London, 1967 – reprinted 1967, 1972, 1973, 1974 Paperback
4. Signet Books, New York, 1967 Paperback
5. as: Aarde-Werk, Meulenhoff, Amsterdam, 1969 Paperback
6. as: Tod im Staub, Lichtenberg, München, 1970 Paperback
7. Hayakawa Sbobo, Tokyo: 1972 – reprinted 1980 Paperback
8. as: Un Mundo Devastado, Edhasa, Barcelona, 1978 – reprinted 1989 Paperback
9. Panther, London, 1979 – reprinted 1980, 1981, 1984 Paperback
10. as: Terrassement, Librairie des Cbamps-Elysdes, Paris, 1979 Paperback
11. Avon, New York, 1980 Paperback
12. as: Tod im Staub, Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, München, 1983 Paperback
13. in: Four of the Best, a boxed set (with GreybeardHothouseand The Dark Light Years). Panther, London, 1984 Paperback
14. Metbuen, London, 1988 Paperback
15. House of Stratus, London, 2001 Paperback