Brian Aldiss

The Dark Light Years

Publisher’s Blurb
. . .a race evolving over centuries from the muddy waters of some delta, in a planet lightyears away . . . Suppose, too, an encounter with man, for both races have evolved space flight, though along totally different lines. Inevitably there is a clash . . . A gulf of understanding separates utod and man . . .

Brian Says

A novel written in anger following inhumane experiments on dolphins. Space-going men and women find an alien race, the utods, on a planet alien to both parties. The utods enrich their lives and bodies by wallowing in their own droppings, a ceremony incompatible with terrestrial preconceptions: according to the latter “civilisation is reckoned as the distance man has placed between himself and his excreta”. Result: disaster. A serio-comic novel with diverse multi-national characters exemplifying human madness.

FIRST EDITION: Faber & Faber 1964

1. Faber & Faber, London, 1964 Hardcover
2. Signet Books, New York, 1964 – reprinted 1965, 1971, 1978 Paperback
3. as: Dal Buio degli Anni Luce, Ponzoni, Milano, 1965 Hardcover
4. Four Square Books, London, 1966 – reprinted 1971, 1973, 1975 Paperback
5. as: De Donkere Lichtjaren, Born, Amsterdam, 1970 Paperback
6. Hayakawa Shobo, Tokyo, 1970 Paperback
7. Stig Vendelkaers, Kobenhavn, 1973 Hardcover
8. as: Os Negros Arios-Luz, Cultrix, Sao Paulo, 1976 Paperback
9. as: Los Oscuros Aflos Luz, Martinez Roca, Barcelona, 1978 Paperback
10. Remploy, Swansea, 1979 Hardcover
11. Panther Books, London, 1979 – reprinted 1980, 1981 Paperback
12. Ray Mecher, Tel Aviv, 1980 Paperback
13. Pimeat Valovuodet. Helskini: Kirjayhtymä, 1982 Hardcover
14. as: Die Dunklen Lichtjahre, Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, München, 1983 Paperback
15. in: Four of the Best, a boxed set (with Greybeard,Earthworks, and Hothouse), Panther, London, 1984 Paperback
16. House of Stratus, London, 2001 Paperb