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Guide to the American Science Fiction Collection

Brian Wilson Aldiss Papers, 1925-


Creator:Aldiss, Brian Wilson, 1925-
Title:Brian Wilson Aldiss Papers,
Quantity:18 boxes (7.5 linear feet), 6 galley proof boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder
Physical Description Binding: Unbound. Loose sheets, placed in folders in boxes. Material: Paper. Ornamentation: Includes maps, charts, sketches, diagrams.
Abstract:Brain Wilson Aldiss is a British author best known for his science fiction novels and criticism. This collection includes letters, drafts, and other papers representing all stages of preparation for Aldiss's Helliconia trilogy. The collection is organized to show how the Helliconia project evolved, from early planning and research to publication and reception.

Call Number:

MS 214

Call Number:

MS Q15:5

Call Number:


Call Number:

MS GAL 1-6

Repository:University of Kansas
Kenneth Spencer Research Library
Department of Special Collections
1450 Poplar Lane, Lawrence, KS 66045-7616
Phone: (785)864-4334
Fax: (785)864-5803
URL: http://spencer.lib.ku.edu
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1990; eear, 2012
Finding aid encoded by skt, 2005; eear, 2012

BIOGRAPHY of Brian Wilson Aldiss

Brian Wilson Aldiss (born August 18, 1925) is a British writer of more than 80 books. He is best known for his contributions to science fiction. Having first received acclaim in the 1950s, Aldiss has earned nearly all of the major science fiction awards over the course of his career including the Nebula, Hugo, and John W. Campbell awards. He is known for thematically dense work that uses genre tropes in compelling and experimental ways. In addition to his science fiction work, Aldiss has written realistic novels, an autobiography, a travel book and a variety of essays and poems.


A. Background material for the trilogy: development of the basic concepts and the setting.

B. Helliconia Spring. Manuscripts and proofs for the first volume in the trilogy, published in 1982 (London: Jonathan Cape; New York: Heinemann).

C. Helliconia Summer. Manuscripts and proofs for the second volume in the trilogy, published in 1983 (London: Jonathan Cape; New York: Heinemann).

D. Helliconia Winter. Manuscripts and proofs for the final volume in the trilogy, published in 1985 (London: Jonathan Cape; New York: Heinemann).

E. Publicity and public reception of the trilogy.

When requesting materials, please use the box and folder numbers rather than the "214Aa" series call numbers.


Restrictions on Access


Restrictions on Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

SUMMARY of The Helliconia Trilogy

The Helliconia trilogy is an ambitious series of science fiction books by Aldiss, consisting of Helliconia Spring (1982), Helliconia Summer (1983) and Helliconia Winter (1985). The books are set on Helliconia, a planet with an orbit that takes thousands of Earth-years to complete, and on which the slowly changing seasons see the rise and fall of entire civilizations. Aldiss’s extensive research into astronomy, geology, biology and anthropology give Helliconia a realistic and credible quality, while themes such as environmental change and the frailty of civilization are explored.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The author, his correspondents, his publishers.

Preferred Citation

American Science Fiction Collection, Department of Special Collections, MS 214, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, Bertram Rota, 1990