Four people are killed by an IRA bomb in a hotel in Great Yarmouth in the mid-Eighties. An American academic sets out to test his theory that their deaths were not random, but in some sense ordained. To do so he must trace the circumstances that eventually bring together the victims.
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Brian W. Aldiss was born in Norfolk, England, in 1925. Over a long and distinguished writing career, he published award-winning science fiction (two Hugo Awards, a Nebula Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award); bestselling popular fiction, including the three-volume Horatio Stubbs saga and the four-volume the Squire Quartet; experimental fiction such as Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head; and many other iconic and pioneering works, including the Helliconia Trilogy. He edited many successful anthologies and published groundbreaking nonfiction, including a magisterial history of science fiction (Billion Year Spree, later revised and expanded as Trillion Year Spree). Among his many short stories, perhaps the most famous was “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long,” which was adapted for film by Stanley Kubrick and produced and directed after Kubrick’s death by Steven Spielberg as A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Brian W. Aldiss passed away in 2017 at the age of 92.From Publishers Weekly:
Aldiss, a British writer known here chiefly for science fiction ( The Malacia Tapestry ), has written a strange, often moving novel with distinct echoes of Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey. In the framing prologue and epilogue, an American academic decides to examine the histories of the victims of an IRA bombing at an English seaside hotel to see if there was any significant relationship between them and their fate. Aldiss scrutinizes several disparate lives in detail, in what is in effect a series of novellas. Ray and Ruby Tebbutt live in genteel poverty in Norfolk, struggling to retrieve a loan they could not afford to make. Through their story, and those of their socially conscious daughter Jenny and Ruby's mother, three generations of English social life are skillfully sketched, including the impact on the nation of the nuclear disarmament movement and Thatcherite economics. Another tale concerns a rootless Czech, a small-time film director, and his casual involvement with an Irish arms smuggler who comes to be the cause of his death. Lastly comes the tale of Dominic Mayor, born in the refugee limbo at the end of WW II, who becomes a British millionaire through stock manipulation, and his desperate marriage to a tormented Scottish heiress. Each story is thoroughly absorbing and convincing as related in Aldiss's spare but telling prose, though the links between them are somewhat contrived and mechanical. As a thoughtful tale of the surpassing strangeness beneath the obvious surfaces of contemporary life, however, this is a compelling novel.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Flamingo, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Next day dispatch. International delivery available. 1000's of satisfied customers! Please contact us with any enquiries. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000163504