Brian Aldiss

We were very sad to hear about the death of Brian Aldiss at the age of 92 this past weekend. One of the greatest science-fiction writers of his generation, ‘one of the most exhilarating aspects of reading Aldiss is the diversity of his imagination’ writes Christopher Priest in The Guardian. Like Philip Roth, Aldiss is credited with introducing a frank discussion of sexuality into the culture with The Hand-Reared Boy, a book every bit as transgressive and funny as Portnoy’s Complaint.

The Hand-Reared Boy is a landmark novel of our time. It was the first British novel to explore, frankly and with a gleeful honesty, the sexual awakening of a teenage boy. It was regarded as so outrageous that thirteen publishers initially refused to publish it. The Hand-Reared Boy no longer shocks, instead it stands as the classic novel of teenage self-discovery and the realisation of a young boy of love, and the fact that other people are more than sexual objects.

The Hand-Reared Boy  is the exciting opening to the Horatio Stubbs trilogy and provoked shock (Rachel Cooke writing in The Observer that it was “So filthy, I read it with the door of my office closed, as if afraid of being caught.”) as well as wide literary claim when it was longlisted for the 1970 Lost Booker Prize. A great book that holds up astoundingly well, it is an excellent entry point into this great writers work.

Brian Aldiss was a bestselling writer since the 1950’s, and was best known for his science fiction. He won every major science fiction award (as well as influencing the work of Stanley Kubrick), three Hugo Awards (1962, 1973, 1987) and two British Science Fiction Association Awards (1972 and 1982). In addition, he also published poetry and autobiography. He will be greatly missed.

Hand-Reared Boy cover

Find The Hand-Reared Boy here:


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