Papers of Brian Aldiss

Scope and Content

The collection contains notes for stories and articles, including Helliconia and autobiographical notes; seventeen typescripts or proof copies of Aldiss' work; illustrative material for science fiction; articles written by and about Aldiss; copies of published work by Aldiss and other authors; various issues of the periodical Locus 1974-1993; and sundry other papers, including the record of an interview with Deng Xiao Ping in 1979, and the typescript of a conversation between Aldiss and Harry Harrison.

Administrative / Biographical History

Brian Aldiss was born on August 18 1925 in Dereham, Norfolk, and educated at Framlingham College, Suffolk, and West Bickland School, Devon. After war service in the Royal Corps of Signals he entered the bookselling trade, working at Sanders & Co. in Oxford. His first work as a writer was The Brightfount Diaries, a fictionalised diary of a bookseller first published as a column in The Bookseller during 1954 and 1955 and published as one volume by Faber & Faber in 1955. The following year he became a full-time writer, and in 1957 his first science fiction book, the short story collection Space, Time and Nathaniel was published. His first science fiction novel, Non-Stop was published in 1958. Since then Aldiss has been a prolific writer, best known for his science fiction novels, novellas and short stories, including the award-winning Helliconia trilogy. He has also been a historian and critic of the genre, and has edited many science fiction collections. In addition, his 'mainstream' writing has included the novels The Male Response, Forgotten Life and the semi-autobiographical Horatio Stubbs sequence. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1989. In 1990 he published his autobiography, Bury my heart at W.H. Smith's.

Access Information

Open to all researchers. No reader's ticket is required but an appointment is necessary. Check for contact details and opening hours.

Acquisition Information

Received from Brian Aldiss in August 1995.


Description prepared by Bridget Andrews, with reference to (April 2003).

Other Finding Aids

A rough list of the material as collected is available in the reading room.