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Colin Wilson in Cornwall


Colin Wilson in London
Brian Aldiss Writer
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Faber & Faber would give a party every year, and at one of those parties came Colin Wilson. Colin Wilson had just published a book called The Outsider, and, moreover, the newspapers had found that Colin Wilson slept on Hayward's Heath... slept on Hampstead Heath. And so this was regarded as a great cachet, and Wilson's name really was everywhere.

A nice man, apparently quite modest, and the author of a second volume which, alas, did not go down at all well, and seems to have ruined Colin's reputation. It's a really terrible story that, and I suppose every author that hears it would dread to think that they might have gone down that hole. Anyhow, Colin in this case, I think, did go down the hole. I don't know what happened to him since.

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: Faber& Faber, Hampstead Heath, press, The Outsider, Colin Wilson

Duration: 1 minute, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2014

Date story went live: 17 August 2015