- Apr 1, 2007
Good to know, Aldiss is in the top of my next SF reads.
Well, I've finished it and I can see where you are comming from. It doesn't really have a plot nor a satisfying conclusion. But it is a deeply thought provoking book. A medatitive contemplation of Greybeard's life and the pursuit of his dream (although we never get to see whether that dream is fulfilled, it's not really important. The real story is is Greybeard letting go of the past).IIRC I didn't enjoy Greybeard. Found it a bit plodding and boring. Was a long time ago tho
Yes his writing does have a similarity with Ballard, tho I've only managed to find a few of Ballard's works to read so far.Well, I've finished it and I can see where you are comming from. It doesn't really have a plot nor a satisfying conclusion. But it is a deeply thought provoking book. A medatitive contemplation of Greybeard's life and the pursuit of his dream (although we never get to see whether that dream is fulfilled, it's not really important. The real story is is Greybeard letting go of the past).
It also kind of reminded me of Ballard, not just because it was a post-apocalyptic book written in the 60's but also because of it's predominantly introspective focus.
Loved 'Hot House' I first read that when it was in the 'SF & Fantasy Magazine' - I think it was in more than one part.I read his "Hot House" and it was great. And I met the guy last year, he was special guest on an SF convention in Croatia, and he seems to be a nice guy.
I guess i should read the rest of his books, too.
I, too, have found Aldiss' reputation somewhat exaggerated, which is not to say that he isn't a good writer: he is a good writer, just not--by and large--a great one.
I say "by and large" because there are two novels in which I think he excels himself: The Malacia Tapestry and Report on Probability A. Each of those is superficially one thing and under that quite something else; and, curiously (or perhaps not so curiously), those something elses are closely related.
The thing or things that underlie them are hard to articulate clearly, which is, I think, a good sign of the complexity and interest of the books. Each raises questions of time and timelessness, of multiplicity and singularity, of human perception. Each wants a careful reading, especially Tapestry (I say that only because Report self-evidently requires close reading, while Tapestry is easy to mistake for a simple action tale).
As I wrote of those two someplace else, "you can never take away from a work of art what you didn't bring to it."
A good summing up, owlcroft; though I'd add Barefoot in the Head to that list of books requiring close reading. It also, to me, has a much more "playful" feel to the text, rich in allusions, puns, and general wordplay... but very, very carefully thought-through for all that. Probability A is, simply, a lot more than it appears....Thanks, owlcroft, for your recommendation of "The Malacia Tapestry", I have not heard of it before but you have made it sound interesting.
One area of his work that I have woefully neglected thus far is his short stories as I know he has many collections of short stories. Does anyone know how he fares in this regard?
I think this series can appeal to both SF and Fantasy readers. The SF elements are very light and don't really become apparent until later on.The Helliconia trilogy caught my eye many years ago, and although I am more of a fantasy reader I do read the occasional Science Fiction works.
Heliconia was very good, enjoyed it very much.