“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.
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 über 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 Probabilitá “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|