About the Author
Brian Aldiss, born in 1925, is one of the most prolific authors of both general and science fiction. In a writing career stretching from 1955 to the present he has published over seventy books. He has also been an influential compiler of science fiction anthologies. A Science Fiction Omnibus
is available as a Penguin Modern Classic.Faber have reissued six of his best science fiction titles: Earthworks
, Barefoot in the Head
, Galaxies like Grains of Sand
, The Dark Light Years
and The Shape of Further Things.
--This text refers to an alternate
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The War Millennia
To begin with though it is certainly no beginning the first fragment is of a strange past world, where the clouds of nationalism have gathered and broken into a storm of war. Over the forgotten continents Asia, America, Africa missile of destruction fly. The beleaguered people of that day have not fully comprehended the nature of the struggle in which they are engulfed.
Those simple blacks, whites and greys which constitute the political situation are grasped readily enough with a little application. But behind these issues lie factors scarcely understood in the council chambers of Peking, London, Cairo or Washington factors which stem form the long and savage past of the race; factors of instinct and frustrated instinct; factors of fear and lust and dawning conscience; factors inseparable from the adolescence of a species, which loom behind all mans affairs like an insurmountable mountain chain.
So men fought each other instead of wrestling with themselves. The bravest sought to evade the currents of hatred by turning outward to the nearest planets in the solar system the cowardly, by sleeping away their lives in vast hives called dreameries, where the comforts of fantasy could discount the depredations of war. Neither course ultimately offered refuge, when the earthquake comes, it topples both tower and hovel
It is fitting that the first fragment should start with a man sitting helplessly in a chair, while bombs fall.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.