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Taking to the sea in Troopship Otranto


Charles Monteith – a kindred spirit
Brian Aldiss Writer
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I just loved Captain Justice, and curiously enough, when I was becoming a writer and Faber first wrote to me and asked me if I would like to make a book of the Brightfount Diaries, I then came under the magisterial help and supervision of Charles Monteith. Charles Monteith was a splendid guy, absolutely amazing, with a wide circle of friends, very, very humorous. And we had two things in common: one thing was, we had both fought in Burma, and Charles was injured in the leg and that injury stayed with him and troubled him for the rest of his life. The other thing we found we had in common was that we had both been reading Modern Boy. I never met anyone else who'd even heard of Modern Boy, but Charles and I had been reading it. And so that was something we had in common, and Charles also liked Captain Justice.

Brian Aldiss (1925-2017) was an English writer and anthologies editor, best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. He was educated at Framlingham College, Suffolk, and West Buckland School, Devon, and served in the Royal Signals between 1943-1947. After leaving the army, Aldiss worked as a bookseller in Oxford, an experience which provided the setting for his first book, 'The Brightfount Diaries' (1955). His first science fiction novel, 'Non-Stop', was published in 1958 while he was working as literary editor of the 'Oxford Mail'. His many prize-winning science fiction titles include 'Hothouse' (1962), which won the Hugo Award, 'The Saliva Tree' (1966), which was awarded the Nebula, and 'Helliconia Spring' (1982), which won both the British Science Fiction Association Award and the John W Campbell Memorial Award. Several of his books have been adapted for the cinema. His story, 'Supertoys Last All Summer Long', was adapted and released as the film 'AI' in 2001. His book 'Jocasta' (2005), is a reworking of Sophocles' classic Theban plays, 'Oedipus Rex' and 'Antigone'.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Captain Justice, Burma, Modern Boy, Charles Monteith

Duration: 1 minute, 33 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2014

Date story went live: 17 August 2015