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Sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss, whose story inspired Steven Spielberg’s film AI, dies at 92

Brian Aldiss had a huge influence on the genre of science fiction, as a writer of stories and novels and as editor of many anthologies.

books Updated: Aug 22, 2017 18:37 IST

Associated Press
British author Brian Aldiss at Worldcon in Glasgow in 2005.
British author Brian Aldiss at Worldcon in Glasgow in 2005.(Szymon Sokół/Wikimedia Commons)
         

Brian Aldiss, one of the most prolific and influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, has died aged 92. Literary agency Curtis Brown said Aldiss died early Saturday at his home in Oxford, England.

Born in 1925, Aldiss served in India and Burma with the British Army during World War II and later became a bookseller, publishing his first stories in a trade magazine. He went on to have a huge influence on sci-fi, as a writer of stories and novels and as editor of many anthologies.

His work includes Greybeard, set in a world without young people, and the Helliconia trilogy, centered on a planet in which the seasons last for centuries.

Aldiss’ 1969 short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long was an unrealised dream project for the late Stanley Kubrick and formed the basis for Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I.

Aldiss also wrote general fiction, some of it inspired by his wartime experiences, and two volumes of autobiography.

Son Tim Aldiss tweeted that his father was “a drinking companion of Kingsley Amis & correspondent with C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien,” and younger writers hailed Aldiss as a major influence and encouraging mentor.

Aldiss was awarded the title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 18:35 IST

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