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Legendary British science fiction writer Brian W. Aldiss died on 19 August at the age of 92. Often described as ‘the Grand Old Man of British science fiction’, Aldiss was the author of around 100 books, including novels, poetry, essays and memoirs, and some 300 short stories. His most famous works include The Helliconia Trilogy, Non-Stop, Hothouse, Greybeard and the Supertoys stories which were adapted for the film “AI” directed by Steven Spielberg.
He won the Hugo Award for Science Fiction in 1962 and the Nebula Award in 1965, and was often seen as bridging the gap between classic science fiction and contemporary literature.
He described himself as a “writing animal” and many noticed how it was fundamental to his being. In 2014, his entire backlist was published by HarperCollins UK’s Voyager imprint whose Publishing Director Natasha Bardon said: “For the short time I had the pleasure of knowing Brian, there wasn’t a moment he wasn’t writing something. His passion for language and literature was wonderful and he wielded his skill like a blade. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry: there was just no stopping him.”
Fellow sci-fi and fantasy writer, Neil Gaiman, described him as “a larger than life wise writer” and noted his “kindness to young writers”.
In 2005, Aldiss was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his service to literature.