One day, Aldiss will be yours….
My big personal epiphany of the year book-wise has been Brian Aldiss. I guess you could call it sci-fi but it’s way more loose and psychedelic than that.
‘Barefoot In The Head’ written in 1968, contains the most lysergic prose I’ve ever read. Man, it might as well have been printed on blotter paper.
Set in a post-apocalyptic England, but the apocalypse in question was the Acid Head War, when Arab nations bombed the UK and Europe with chemical weapon psychoactive compounds. As the infrastructure of western europe slowly unravels, a man travels the motorways and becomes a messiah.
It took me a while to get through it for sure, it’s like wading knee deep through dream acid flashbacks, with the twists and turns of the dialogue. But oh my, what a book. More trippy than Burroughs, Jodorowsky and Plastikman put together.
‘Hothouse’ is very different – contains what you might consider some more traditional sci-fi tropes I guess, but shot through with heavy dreamy tropical jungle weirdness, with plants that behave like animals, a super-intelligent fungus, and an entire continent covered in a single, huge, ancient banyan tree. Good times.
Last and strangest of all – ‘Report On Probability A’ – contains the driest and most straightforward text of all three of these books, but yet manages to be the most out there.
Slow and repetitive descriptions of a small group of people watching each other, in an unspecified space and time, slowly telescope and peel backwards and outwards and widewards…
posted by MAGIC