Brian Aldiss

Report on Probability A

Publisher’s Blurb
“One afternoon in early January, the weather showed a lack of character. There was no frost nor wind: the trees in the garden did not stir.” Within the house moved a woman, the strangely fascinating Mrs. Mary: without, a black and white cat stalked the pigeon known as X. The characters G, S, and C watched from various outbuildings. Others watched tham and yet others watched those watchers. An enigmatic engraving hung in each outbuilding and as the early dusk fell C gazed at a representation of two snakes, each swallowing the other’s tail. Brian Aldiss’s new novel, a tense and engrossing study of relative phenomena, is a dazzling tour-de-force in which his wit, intelligence and invention are displayed at full stretch.

Brian Says

This remains one of Aldiss’s most controversial novels, and one of his own favourites. Three observers, from cramped and disadvantaged positions watch, via naked eye, telescope and periscope, the activities around a house from which they were expelled. A Mr and Mrs Mary live in the house. The atmosphere is threatening, but the boredoms of everyday life bring nothing to resolution. There is only vigilance.

FIRST EDITION: Faber & Faber, 1968

1. Faber & Faber, London, 1968 Hardcover
2. Doubleday, New York, 1969 Hardcover
3. Sphere Books, London, 1969 – reprinted 1973, 1977, 1983 Paperback
4. Lancer Books, New York, 1970 Hardcover
5. as: Report ├╝ber Probabilitat A, Ullstein, Frankfurt, 1976 Paperback
6. Avon, New York, 1980 Paperback
7. Sanrio, Tokyo, 1984 Paperback
8. as: Informe Sobre Probabilidad A, Minotauro, Barcelona, 1984 Paperback
9. as: Rapporto Sulla Probabilit├í “A”, in Nova SF 9, Perseo Lire, Bologna, 1987 Paperback
10. as: Rapport om Sannoliket A, Sam J. Lundwall Fakta & Fantasi, Bromma, 1988 Paperback
11. House of Stratus, London, 2001 Paperback