Visionary British science fiction author Brian Aldiss (OBE), who collaborated with Stanley Kubrick in the never-ending development of the latter's long-gestating film A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), has passed away at the age of 92. From The Register:
Aldiss published an enormous number of science fiction books and short stories – as well as non-fiction work – but is perhaps best known for the Helliconia trilogy and his short story “Supertoys Last All Summer Long”, which was used as the basis for the 2001 film AI Artificial Intelligence.
“A friend and drinking companion of Kingsley Amis and correspondent with CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, Aldiss was a founding member of the Groucho Club in London and a judge on the 1981 Booker Prize,” said his publisher in a statement.
“Awarded the Hugo Award for Science Fiction in 1962 and the Nebula Award in 1965, Aldiss's writings were well received by the critics and earned a strong following in the United States and in Britain, as well as being widely translated into foreign languages.”
Born in 1925, Aldiss began writing stories as a four-year old child, encouraged by his parents. He saw action in Burma during the Second World War and afterwards moved to Oxford and worked in a bookshop.
He came to a publisher's attention after publishing a fictional tale of life as a bookseller in 1955 that did reasonably well, and was already writing science fiction short stories for magazines. After being commissioned for his first book of short stories, Aldiss began a career which spanned more than half a century and triggered the New Wave movement in British science fiction.
“I actually think that the great days of science fiction have perhaps passed now,” he told Desert Island Discs in 2007. “But the fact is science fiction gave me an umbrella, and it gave me endless friends who are still my friends. I would never knock science fiction, I think it's splendid.”Aldiss' short fiction is quite wonderful, and widely collected. I urge any Kubrick fan to read his work. Furthermore, for those of you with more time on your hands, the Helliconia series is well worth the effort.