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John Osborne – successful but unhappy

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Colin Wilson in Cornwall
Brian Aldiss Writer
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So, Colin seems to have disappeared from human view. But many years later, I was down in the south of Cornwall, and someone told me that Colin Wilson lived there.

And so, I went to see him. And there was Colin Wilson, still writing books and apparently enjoying life and running about on the sand with children. That was very nice, and not only that, but thrusting upon me some of his most recent writing, including his latest book, the title of which, I am afraid, escapes me. And I took it home and tried to read it.

So, there was a man who regarded himself as a writer, and who never gave up. And actually, that book was published by an obscure American publisher. But he was apparently not humbled by it: he wanted to write, he did write, he wanted to be published and he got published – in complete contrast to another writer I knew at the time.

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: Colin Wilson

Duration: 1 minute, 38 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2014

Date story went live: 17 August 2015