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Science Fiction Britannia

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  • silverhand
    Citizen of Tanelorn
    • Feb 2004
    • 282

    Science Fiction Britannia

    Has anyone else enjoyed this on BBC4? The last thread of The Martians & Us had a good critique of John Whyndham's books. I must admit that Brian Aldiss's crticisms seemed harsh. I could see what he meant about "cosy catastrophies" but I always thought that his books were about how thin was the veneer of our civilisation.
    Arioch, aid me! Blood and souls for Arioch!
  • Kipper
    Lost Boy
    • Nov 2006
    • 611

    It has been good viewing. I enjoyed the majority of what was on offer. John Wyndham's one of my favourite authors, and I felt that Brian Aldiss was overly critical too. I thought BA came over as a bit jealous, perhaps? I agreed with his cosy statement as well! My personal favourite is 'The Kraken Wakes', which is, possibly, a little less 'cosy' than 'Triffids'.
    Judging by the hour long programme on Wyndham himself, which was both informative and very interesting, JW lived a fairly cosy life. At least during the years he was writing. It seems like he spent most of his life in a form of early-mid 20th Century sheltered accomodation! A quite genteel lifestyle from what I saw from the TV. That must have flavoured his writings somewhat! I think the 'stiff upper lipped britishness in the face of adversity' style is great fun to read. Especially now that the 'empire' is a memory! It give an almost nostalgic feel to the stories, for me.
    I quite like 'Web', his last (I think) book. Smaller than previous stories, by thickness of paperback standard(!), it also loses the 'cosiness' to a degree. It was written at a time when his lifestyle had undergone massive change. He'd married a woman who'd never had to run a home before, and ended up doing all the jobs around the house. It took up his writing time, and eventually killed the poor fellow! Heart attack while mowing his lawn, then another, fatal, one not long after.
    'Web' has a different 'feel' to it from his other stuff. I can see why after watching the programme. One funny thing, though. Brian Aldiss was also passing comments on this programme, and they weren't as critical as the ones in 'The Martians and Us'.
    I like some of BAs stuff too, 'Hothouse' is probably my fave BA read.
    He's well smoked