Brian Aldiss with David Wingrove. TRILLION YEAR SPREE T H E O F. H I S T O R Y. S C I E N C E. F I C T I O N. Ever since Brian Aldiss’s first Science Fiction. Begins at the birth of science fiction, with Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” and studies the development of the genre to its present position in contemporary. Trillion Year Spree (The Brian Aldiss Collection) eBook: Brian Aldiss: uk: Kindle Store.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Britain’s most illustrious SF writer, Brian Aldiss, provides a witty and perceptive history of this extraordinary phenomenon, set in its social and literary context.

Crammed with fascinating insights, this generous spree takes us through decades of trullion for the imagination: Amusing, intelligent and authoritative, it takes us aldsis a tour through that zone where literature and science engage in an eternal flirtation. Examining the great writers SF has produced, and the images that have become the cultural wallpaper of the present day, this comprehensive expedition is for buffs and tenderfoots alike.

Paperbackpages. Published July 1st by House of Stratus first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Trillion Year Spreeplease sign up. Was this book originally a ‘Billion Year Spree’? I seem to remember having an Aldiss book with that title.

See 2 questions about Trillion Year Spree…. Lists with This Book. The tenacity of poor SF is renowned. It has unfortunately formed the hallmark of the genre. This is a splendid history of SF from whenever it started disputed up to the mid of the s. Get off your backside!

What is it good for? Except providing the plot for every other damned SF novel. Usually between or within Galactic Empires!!! Brian calls Hugo One of the worst disasters ever to hit the science fiction field because by creating a magazine which published nothing but SF he created a ghetto.

Brian says that when he made these remarks in the first edition of this book he thought they merely expressed a truth apparent to any reasonable mind.

Instead they aroused fury. My book was widely condemned. So SF built itself a ghetto an American ghetto and all the magazines which followed and authors who filled them up were considered by non-fans as the worst kind of pulp and totally ignored. A great novel like was not published as science fiction.

Here are a few of his opinions which pleased me. He is a great producer. He enjoys enormous popularity. He has become monstrous. Yet upon these structures Asimov builds his huge house of cards. All his novels are one novel, a fatidical A la recherche du temps perfide.

Much of it is not SF. The fate of the world depends on some poor slave girl and a man of low birth with mystic powers and an amulet. And by the way, why are so many fantasy novels set in a feudal culture? Because the authors have no knowledge of economics. Then add another 25 years of the stuff…. I could manage that. View all 13 comments. Nov 27, Manny rated it really liked it Shelves: If you’re at all interested in SF, this is a must-read. Absolutely the best history of the genre that I know, written by an insider who is passionate about the subject.

Aldiss has a broad take on the question of what science-fiction is, and there is a strange, eerie theme running through the book: Anna Kavan’s Icea novel I have still not read, but which Aldiss describes with passion.


Dante’s traitors, buried in the ice of the innermost circles of Hell. And this stanza fr If you’re at all interested in SF, this is a must-read. And this stanza from the Rime of the Ancient Marinerwhich he quotes with approval as constituting the very essence of great science-fiction: And through the drifts the snowy clifts Did send a dismal sheen: Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken– The ice was all between. It’s no easy task to write a history of science fiction, as amorphous a publishing category as there is, so I hesitate to call this book a failure on those terms alone.

What it attempts to do, it does handily and usefully: Along the way it pauses long enough to note certain knots in the strand that have made it stronger woah, I It’s no easy task to write a history of science fiction, as amorphous a publishing category as there is, so I hesitate to call this book a failure on those terms alone.

Along the way it pauses long enough to note certain knots in the strand that have made it stronger woah, I’m really stretching that metaphor out-a-kilter, aren’t I! Aldiss who wrote the original version of this book, Billion Year Spree and Wingrove smartly spend most of the book before the s, focusing on the twin progenitors of modern SF: Wells and Aldous Huxley with the pulp, mechanistic format favored by America and championed by Hugo Gernsback.

However, and likely due to the fact that both authors here are also creators, this is not necessarily the most objective critical treatise on the field.

Aldiss comes across as someone miffed by the American ascendency in a field that was born with an English authoress, in a kind of literary reflection of the change in world hegemony after the second world war. He shoots a fish in a barrel when he rightly points out that Harlan Ellison ‘s introduction to Dangerous Visions was marketing controversy, counterpointing it with a quite understated and humble editorial by Michael Moorcock from New Worlds.

But this one example doesn’t mean that Moorcock wasn’t himself involved in flaunting convention for attention, nor the true power behind some of the stories championed by Ellison including some of Ellison’s own writing. That is, Aldiss’s obvious bias, likely stemming from where his own publications appeared, is this huge mote that sticks in the reader’s eye once he hits the s, and it’s hard to remove it for the rest of the book. It’s unfortunately, because I think he’s not too far off in his analysis of many of the at the time of writing more recent authors, including noting that Gibson was more style than substance.

The funny thing about the latter opinion is that he had just spent the entire chapter on New Worlds praising the New Wave’s addition of style to what had been a gee-whiz-gizmo literature beforehand.

Trillion Year Spree

Perhaps if Aldiss had confronted his bias head-on in no section does he remind the reader that he is, himself, the Aldiss that he mentions in passing in several chaptersit might have been more palatable, or maybe I’m just used to Gardner Dozois ‘ method of commentary that appears in the introduction to spre Year’s Best volumes where, once he comes to the magazine which he himself edited, he simply lists the authors adliss “without comment.

What I enjoyed most here was learning a bit more about authors whom I may have read, but didn’t know as much about their history, such as H. WellsYfar Rice BurroughsA. Van Vogtand Michael Moorcock. As a voracious reader of SF in the 70s and 80s, I thought I ydar a fairly good grounding in the “classics,” triolion this book revealed some of my deficiencies, albeit none that I’m necessarily interested in correcting at this late date.


It did remind me of why I was attracted to science fiction in the first place, and given me an idea of what I’ve been finding missing in the few titles I’ve read recently. Finally, this is the first book that I’ve read in a long time that has ever tempted me to re-read novels and stories, to view them with new critical eyes having obtained a new perspective from Aldiss on them, such as Tim Powers ‘s The Anubis GatesFrederick Pohl ‘s Gatewayand Gene Wolfe ‘s The Shadow of the Torturer.

I ordered this book from Mark Ziesing, whom I used to order books from regularly not to mention briefly writing a book review column for his print qldiss, which he still produces.

When I received this book, it had a tipped in review slip from the publisher and Mark had written on a post-it note, “Hi, Glen–I thought you’d enjoy knowing this was Damon Knight ‘s copy. Jul 30, Ampat Varghese rated it it was amazing. My book shelves are liberally peppered with science fiction novels.

Right now, in front of my eyes, I can see a William Gibson trilogy peeking back at me mischievously. I taught Art and Design in India for 12 years.

These books must become part of the curriculum of any cutting edge art and design school across the world, I think to myself.

But, xpree many will care. Because, firstly, are there any Gen X or Gen Y kids who read? Should they read at all My book shelves are liberally peppered with science fiction novels.

Should they read at all? They have the lines blurred between SF and Fantasy; unable to discern between the two and the changing of both times and the guard, they throw out the sprree with the bathtub, water, scented oils, soaps, bubbles, towels and all.

Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction

All that talk of Futurology and Sustainability and New Age Pedagogy that disturbs you, not to mention the students, is driven subtly from behind the scenes by the Iluminatii and, horror of horrors, what if I told you that these are the writers of SF? Do they know their genres? What about Bruce Sterling? Kelly and Kessel are driving the definite agenda of a rapprochement between yeat they perceive as the deliberate building of a Great Wall between SF as a genre aldisss Mainstream Literature.

Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction by Brian W. Aldiss

Their concern is the facilitation of the breaking down of such boundaries. So I say it would be wise to read Aldiss before entering the space of the argument put forth by Kelly and Kessel. What is it that Aldiss is attempting? To cut the longish review in my mind to a short one in word-processor social media space, I will mention that the book is a whopping pages.

The point is, if you have read thus far, it is most likely you will pick up a copy of this book and its younger, questioning companion, and settle down to a week of fascinating reading. What aliss has put together, let no man cast asunder. If you want to really draw a connection between SF imagination and technological innovation, just surf to http: If you love SF, you will at least like this book.