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Brian W. Aldiss quotes (showing 1-30 of 45)

“When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“Civilisation is the distance that man has placed between himself and his own excreta.”
Brian W. Aldiss, The Dark Light Years
“There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“Science fiction is for real, space opera is for fun.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“The misfortune of a young man who returns to his native land after years away is that he finds his native land foreign; whereas the lands he left behind remain for ever like a mirage in his mind.
However, misfortune can itself sow seeds of creativity.

---- Afterword to "Hothouse" Brian Aldiss”
Brian W. Aldiss, Hothouse
“Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“It is at night... that the mind is most clear, that we are most able to hold all our life in the palm of our skull.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“The fatal error of much science fiction has been to subscribe to an optimism based on the idea that revolution, or a new gimmick, or a bunch of strong men, or an invasion of aliens, or the conquest of other planets, or the annihilation of half the world--in short, pretty nearly anything but the facing up to the integral and irredeemable nature of mankind--can bring about utopian situations. It is the old error of the externalization of evil.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“Life was a pleasure; he looked back at its moments, many of them as much shrouded in mist as the opposite bank of the Thames; objectively, many of them held only misery, fear, confusion; but afterwards, and even at the time, he had known an exhilaration stronger than the misery, fear, or confusion. A fragment of belief came to him from another epoch: 'Cogito ergo sum'. For him that had not been true; his truth had been, 'Senito ergo sum'. I feel so I exist. He enjoyed this fearful, miserable, confused life, and not only because it made more sense than non-life.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Greybeard
“A writer should say to himself, not, How can I get more money?, but How can I reach more readers (without lowering standards)?”
Brian W. Aldiss
“Whatever terrific events may inform our lives, it always comes to that in the end; we just want to lie down.”
Brian W. Aldiss, An Island Called Moreau
“Writers must fortify themselves with pride and egotism as best they can. The process is analogous to using sandbags and loose timbers to protect a house against flood. Writers are vulnerable creatures like anyone else. For what do they have in reality? Not sandbags, not timbers. Just a flimsy reputation and a name.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“Perhaps that had been one of the ineradicable faults of mankind - for even a convinced atheist had to admit there were faults - that it was never content with a thing as a thing; it had to turn things into symbols of other things. A rainbow was never only a rainbow; a storm was a sign of celestial anger; and even from the puddingy earth came forth dark chthonian gods. What did it all mean? What an agnostic believed and what the willowy parson believed were not only irreconcilable systems of thought: they were equally valid systems of thought because, somewhere along the evolutionary line, man, developing this habit of thinking of symbols, had provided himself with more alternatives than he could manage. Animals moved in no such channel of imagination - they copulated and they ate; but the the saint, bread was a symbol of life, as the phallus was to the pagan. The animals themselves were pressed into symbolic service - and not only in the medieval bestiaries, by any means.

Such a usage was a distortion, although man seemed unable to ratiocinate without it. That had been the trouble right from the beginning. Perhaps it had even been the beginning, back among the first men that man could never get clearly defined (for the early men, being also symbols, had to be either lumbering brutes, or timid noble savages, or to undergo some other interpretation). Perhaps the first fire, the first tool, the first wheel, the first carving in a limestone cave, had each possessed a symbolic rather than a practical value, had each been pressed to serve distortion rather than reality. It was a sort of madness that had driven man from his humble sites on the edges of woods into towns and cities, into arts and wars, into religious crusades, into martyrdom and prostitution, into dyspepsia and fasting, into love and hatred, into this present cul-de-sac; it had all come about in pursuit of symbols. In the beginning was the symbol, and darness was over the face of the Earth.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Greybeard
“This shall be home, where danger was my cradle, and all we have learned will guard us!”
Brian W. Aldiss, The Long Afternoon of Earth
“It's a funny thing in my job: you remain perpetually lonely in a world where loneliness is the rarest commodity.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Earthworks
“Evil is loose in the world. I have to go.” “I don’t believe in evil. Mistakes, yes. Not evil.” “Then perhaps you are afraid to believe it exists. It exists wherever men are. It”
Brian W. Aldiss, Helliconia Winter
“Civilization is the distance man has placed between himself and his excreta.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“To qualify as a Seeker, it was necessary to show a high serendipity factor. In my experimental behaviour pool as a child, I had exhibited such a factor, and had been selected for special training forthwith. I had taken additional courses in Philosophical, Alpha-humerals, Incidental Tetrachotomy, Apunctual Synchronicity, Homoontogenesis, and other subjects, ultimately qualifying as a Prime Esemplastic Seeker. In other words, I put two and two together in situations where other people were not thinking about addition. I connected. I made wholes greater than parts. Mine was an invaluable profession in a cosmos increasingly full of parts.”
Brian W. Aldiss, The 1977 Annual World's Best SF
“I think therefore I am;' I dream therefore I become”
Brian W. Aldiss
“Life on the big slope was endurable, and sometimes more than just endurable, for the human spirit was a genius for making mountains out of molehills of happiness.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Hothouse
“There are two kinds of writers; those that make you think and those that make you wonder.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“Once land gets in a state, once it begins to deteriorate, it is hard to reverse the process. Land falls sick just like people—that's the whole tragedy of our time.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Earthworks
“In role-playing games, SF and fantasy have exploded into psychotherapy.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them. They show us the state of our decay.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“An overcrowded world is the ideal place in which to be lonely.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Supertoys Last All Summer Long and Other Stories of Future Time
“Credeti că trăim în centrul universului. Eu vă spun că trăim în centrul curtii unei ferme. Poziția noastră este atat de obscură, încat nu vă puteți da seama cât este de obscură.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Helliconia Spring
“This is how Yuli, son of Alehaw, came to a place called Oldorando, where his descendants flourished in the better days that were to come.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Helliconia Spring
“how far was a feeling genuine if it did not find expression in an external act?”
Brian W. Aldiss, Cryptozoic!
“Science Fiction had made itself a part of the general debate of our times. It has added to the literature of the world ; through its madness and freewheeling ingenuity , it has helped form the new pop music, through its raising of semi religious questions, it has become part of the underworld where drugs, mysticism, God-kicks, and sometimes even murder meet ; and lastly , it has become one of the most popular entertainment in its own rights, a wacky sort of fiction that grabs and engulfs anything new or old for its subject matter, turning it into a shining and often insubstantial wonder.”
Brian W. Aldiss
“he could see it glinting at his fingertips, ready to be fashioned.”
Brian W. Aldiss, Cryptozoic!

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