Brian Wilson Aldiss OBE (1925 – 2017) was an English writer and anthology editor, best known for science fiction novels and short stories. His byline reads either Brian W. Aldiss or simply Brian Aldiss, except for occasional pseudonyms during the mid-1960s.
As a child Aldiss discovered the pulp magazine Astounding Science Fiction. He eventually read all the novels by H. G. Wells and Robert Heinlein, and later Philip K. Dick. After the war, he worked as a bookseller in Oxford. He also wrote a number of short pieces for a booksellers’ trade journal about life in a fictitious bookshop, which attracted the attention of Charles Monteith, an editor at the publisher Faber and Faber. As a result, Faber and Faber published Aldiss’s first book, The Brightfount Diaries (1955), a 200-page novel in diary form about the life of a sales assistant in a bookshop.
The Brightfount Diaries had been a minor success, and Faber asked Aldiss if he had any more writing they could look at with a view to publishing. Aldiss confessed to being a science fiction author, to the delight of the publishers, who had a number of science fiction fans in high places, and so his first science fiction book was published, a collection of short stories entitled Space, Time and Nathaniel (Faber, 1957). By this time, his earnings from writing matched his wages in the bookshop, and he made the decision to become a full-time writer.
Brian Aldiss led the voting for Most Promising New Author of 1958 at the next year’s Worldcon, but finished behind “no award”. He was elected president of the British Science Fiction Association in 1960. He was the literary editor of the Oxford Mail newspaper from 1958 to 1969. Around 1964, he and long-time collaborator Harry Harrison started the first ever journal of science fiction criticism, Science Fiction Horizons, which during its brief span of two issues published articles and reviews by such authors as James Blish, and featured a discussion among Brian Aldiss, C. S. Lewis, and Kingsley Amis in the first issue and an interview with William S. Burroughs in the second. In 1967 Algis Budrys listed Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, Roger Zelazny, and Samuel R. Delany as “an earthshaking new kind of” writers, and leaders of the New Wave.
Greatly influenced by science fiction pioneer H. G. Wells, Aldiss was a vice-president of the international H. G. Wells Society. Aldiss was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2000 and inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2004. He received two Hugo Awards, one Nebula Award, and one John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He wrote the short story “Supertoys Last All Summer Long” (1969), the basis for the Stanley Kubrick-developed Steven Spielberg film A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). Aldiss was associated with the British New Wave of science fiction.
Brian Aldiss was the author of over 80 books and 300 short stories, as well as several volumes of poetry.
Brian Aldiss – First Editions Identification Guide
Note: This list only includes books published prior to 1977.
|Year||Title||Publisher||First edition/printing identification points|
|1967||AN AGE||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in mcmlxvii on © page. Issued later in the U.S. as CRYPTOZOIC!|
|1963||THE AIRS OF EARTH||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in mcmlxiii on © page. Published later in the U.S. with textual differences as STARSWARM.|
|1969||BAREFOOT IN THE HEAD||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in 7 969 on © page.|
|1965||BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORIES...||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in mcmlxv on © page. Issued later in the U.S. as WHO CAN REPLACE A MAN?|
|1971||BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORIES...||London: Faber and Faber, ||New and revised edition 1971 on © page. Differs considerably from the 1965 collection; drops six stories, "Psyclops," "Dumb Show," "The New Father Christmas," "Ahead," "Basis for Negotiation," and "A Kind of Artistry" and adds eight, "Shards," "Girl and Robot With Flowers," "The Moment of Eclipse," "Swastika!," "Sober Noises of Morning in a Marginal Land," "Judas Danced," "Still Trajectories," and "Another Little Boy."|
|1972||THE BOOK OF BRIAN ALDISS||New York: DAW Books, Inc., ||Wrappers. First Printing, 1972 on © page. DAW: sf Books No. 29 UQ 1029 (95¢). issued later in Great Britain as THE COMIC INFERNO.|
|1960||BOW DOWN TO NUL||New York: Ace Books, Inc., ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace D-443 (35¢). Bound with THE DARK DESTROYERS by Manly Wade Wellman. Issued later in Great Britain as THE INTERPRETER.|
|1969||A BRIAN ALDISS OMNIBUS||London: Sidgwick & Jackson, ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page. All material reprinted from earlier books.|
|1971||BRIAN ALDISS OMNIBUS (2)||London: Sidgwick & Jackson, ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Collects SPACE, TIME AND NATHANIEL, NON-STOP, and THE MALE RESPONSE.|
|1955||THE BRIGHTFOUNT DIARIES||London: Faber and Faber Ltd, ||First published in mcmlv on © page.|
|1977||BROTHERS OF THE HEAD||[London]: Pierrot Publishing Limited, ||Two issues, no priority: |
Note: Hardcover issue was not distributed in the U.S.
|1959||THE CANOPY OF TIME||London: Faber and Faber, ||Boards. First published in mcmlix on © page. An abridgment with connecting material issued later in the U.S. as GALAXIES LIKE GRAINS OF SAND.|
|1973||THE COMIC INFERNO||[London]: New English Library, ||Wrappers. First NEL paperback edition October 1973 on © page. New English Library 016366 (40p). Published earlier in the U.S. as THE BOOK OF BRIAN ALDISS.|
|1968||CRYPTOZOIC||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1968||First Edition in the United States of America on © page. Issued earlier in Great Britain as AN AGE.|
|1964||THE DARK LIGHT YEARS||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in mcmlxiv on © page.|
|1965||EARTH WORKS||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in mcmlxv on © page. ALSO: Gorden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966, First Edition in the United States of America on © page. Minor textual changes.|
|1974||THE EIGHTY-MINUTE HOUR||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1974||First edition so stated on © page. ALSO: London: Jonathan Cape, . Boards. First published 1974 on © page. A few textual changes.|
|1955||EQUATOR||London: Brown, Watson Limited, ||Wrappers. First UK. publication in book farm on © page. Digit R695 (2'6). Includes "Segregation," pp. 105-57. Issued earlier in the U.S. as VANGUARD FROM ALPHA.|
|1976||EXCOMMUNICATION||[London: Post Card Partnership, 1976]||Postcard. 10,5 X 15 cm. No statement of printing. Note: Recto prints a short, short story;, "Excommunication," by Aldiss. Verso carries publisher's imprint and copyright notice.|
|1973||FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND||London: Jonathan Cape, ||Boards. First published 1973 on © page.|
|1960||GALAXIES LIKE GRAINS OF SAND||[New York}: Published by The New American Library, ||Wrappers. First printing, July, 1960 on © page. Signet Books S1815 (35¢). An abridgment of an earlier edition issued in Great Britain as THE CANOPY OF TIME. |
ALSO: Boston: Gregg Press, 1977. First Printing, June 1977 on © page. First hardcover edition.
Note: Not issued in dust jacket.
|1964||GREYBEARD||New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., ||First edition so stated on © page.|
|1970||THE HAND-REARED BOY||London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, ||Boards. First published January 1970 on © page. Note: Later copies have the statement reprinted before publication on © page.|
|1962||HOTHOUSE||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in mcmlxii on © page. Issued earlier the same year in the U.S. in a shorter version as THE LONG AFTERNOON OF EARTH.|
|1969||INTANGIBLES WC||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in 1969 on © page. Issued later in the U.S. with slightly altered contents as NEANDERTHAL PLANET.|
|1961||THE INTERPRETER||London; Brown, Watson Limited, ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Digit Books R506 (2'6). Issued earlier in the U.S. as BOW DOWN TO NUL.|
|1977||LAST ORDERS AND OTHER STORIES||London: Jonathan Cape, ||Boards. First published 1977 on © page.|
|1962||THE LONG AFTERNOON OF EARTH||[New York]: Published, by The New American Library, ||Wrappers. First printing, January, 1962 on © page. Signet Books D2018 (50¢). Issued later the same year in Great Britain in a version extended by some 8000 words as HOTHOUSE.|
|1976||THE MALACIA TAPESTRY||London: Jonathan Cape, ||Boards. First, published 1976 on © page.|
|1961||THE MALE RESPONSE||New York: Galaxy Publishing Corp., ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page.Beacon Book No. 305 (35¢). |
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, , Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1963 on © page. First hardcover edition.
|1970||THE MOMENT OF ECLIPSE||London; Faber and Faber, ||First published in 1970 on © page.|
|1970||NEANDERTHAL PLANET||[New York}: Avon, ||Wrappers. First Avon Printing, January, 1970 on © page. Avon V2322 (75¢). Issued earlier in Great Britain with slightly altered contents as INTANGIBLES INC. |
ALSO: New York: Avon, , Boards. Two printings, priority as listed:
|1959||NO TIME LIKE TOMORROW||[New York]: Published by The New American Library, ||Wrappers. First printing, July, 1959 on © page. Signet Books SI683 (35¢). Six of the stories collected earlier in SPACE, TIME AND NATHANIEL.|
|1958||NON-STOP||London: Faber and Faber, || |
|1961||THE PRIMAL URGE||New York: Ballantine Books, ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. A Ballantine Science Fiction Novel F555 (50¢).|
|1968||REPORT ON PROBABILITY A||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published mcmlxviii on © page.|
|1966||THE SALIVA TREE AND OTHER STRANGE GROWTHS||London: Faber and Faber ||Two bindings, priority as listed: |
|1977||A SOLDIER ERECT||London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page.|
|1957||SPACE, TIME AND NATHANIEL||London: Faber and Faber, ||First published in mcmlvii on © page. Six of these stories later collected in NO TIME LIKE TOMORROW.|
|1959||STARSHIP||New York: Criterion Books, ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Issued earlier in Great Britain with textual differences as NON-STOP.|
|1964||STARSWARM||[New York]: Published by The New American Library, ||Wrappers. First printing, January, 1964 on © page. Signet Books D2411 (50¢). Published earlier in Great Britain with textual differences as THE /MRS OF EARTH.|
|1959||VANGUARD FROM ALPHA||New York: Ace Books, Inc., ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double Novel Books D-369 (35¢). Bound with THE CHANGELING WORLDS by Kenneth Bulmer. Published later in Great Britain as EQUATOR. The latter includes "Segregation," not printed in the Ace edition.|
|1966||WHO CAN REPLACE A MAN?||New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., ||First American edition 1966 on © page. Issued earlier in Great Britain as BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORIES OF BRIAN W. ALDISS.|
Brian Aldiss – First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide
Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of Aldiss’ works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.