Bill’s Bookshelf # 5: Earthworks by Brian W. Aldiss



When I was a kid, my parents enrolled me in a Science Fiction Book Club. I received book once a month and got to choose which ones to keep. I wanted to keep all of them. The only problem was, during the summer I spent more time out with my friends, riding my bicycles, going to movies, swimming, and hiking in the woods, and less time reading. There were a couple of books I never got around to reading. One of those books was Earthworks, by Brian W. Aldiss. The picture I use as a logo for “Bill’s Bookshelf” is an actual section of the bookshelves in my room in the house I grew up in. When I visited my mother in Virginia, about three months ago, I picked up Earthworks and brought it back to Florida.

Earthworks is a genuinely good book, the kind of science fiction book that I always hope to find among the myraid of choices that line fill the shelves of used book stores. But because I’m in the process of editing a book and working toward a deadline, I’ve decided that instead of writing extensively about Earthworks myself,  I will refer all visitors to Bill Ectric’s Place to some commentary from Graeme K Talboys at Grumbooks.

3 responses to “Bill’s Bookshelf # 5: Earthworks by Brian W. Aldiss”

  1. Well, I prefer his 50s short stories over what I’ve read of his 60s short stories… So perhaps No Time Like The Future or What Can Replace a Man? might be good places to start.

  2. I’ll have to read some of his short fiction, then. Earthworks is the only thing I’ve read by Aldiss.

  3. I was underwhelmed by this work. I adore Aldiss but generally his short fiction. I found the prose top quality but the ending essentially advocated complete war — rather disturbing if you think about it.

    My favorite of the overpopulation / utra-pollution themed works is John Brunner’s masterpiece Stand on Zanzibar (1968)…

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