It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our Vice-President Brian Aldiss, the day after celebrating his 92nd birthday.
Brian was in Fortescue House from 1939-1943 and it was here that he discovered and nurtured his passion for writing. A prolific writer and brilliant inspiration in the genre of science fiction, Brian remained, throughout his life, an active supporter of West Buckland School and a note of his last year at the school concluded: ‘I doubt if any of us who shared that particular Sixth will ever forget how much we laughed then.’
Brian and his family have remained close to the school ever since and we will find a suitable way to remember him later in the term.
Please see below a press release produced by his family:
It is with sadness that we announce the death of Brian Wilson Aldiss O.B.E. author, artist and poet, at his home in Oxford in the early hours of Saturday 19th August 2017, aged 92.
Author of British science fiction classics Non-stop, Hothouse and Greybeard, Aldiss’s writing spanned genres and generations, bridging the gap between classic ‘science fiction’ and contemporary literature with his Helliconia Trilogy and Thomas Squire Quartet. Aldiss was also an entertaining memoirist, notably basing his Horatio Stubbs saga on his wartime adventures in Burma and the Far East, as well as the autobiography The Twinkling of an Eye.
A friend and drinking companion of Kingsley Amis and correspondent with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Aldiss was a founding member of the Groucho Club in London and a judge on the 1981 Booker Prize. 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. In later years his cultured world view and enduring curiosity found expression in the novels Harm and The Finches of Mars, dealing with the contradictions of the war against terror and the logistical difficulties of accommodating different terrestrial belief systems in space.
Among his considerable body of short fiction are the ‘Supertoys’ stories, adapted for film as A.I., on which Aldiss collaborated with Stanley Kubrick for over a decade before its completion by Steven Spielberg. His novel Frankenstein Unbound was made for screen by Roger Corman.
In 2000 Brian Aldiss was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Reading and received the title of Grandmaster from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for services to Literature with the O.B.E. in the 2005 Birthday Honours list.