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Mortal Morning

Cover painting by Brian Aldiss
Cover design by Gainford Design Associates

Although better known for his achievements in science fiction, Brian Aldiss’s poetry has been an integral part of his creative activity throughout his writing life and many of his poems have appeared in magazines and collections. Mortal Morning brings together a selection of his best and most representative poems, including those with a science fiction or metaphysical slant, deeply personal poems about family and loss, and poems of everyday life. A sequence of poems about artists and their work includes reflections on Gauguin’s Tahiti paintings, Kandinsky and Francis Bacon.

As a poet, Aldiss is versatile and frequently surprising, creating work that ranges from intimate and introspective to humorous, bold and surreal, and Mortal Morning will appeal to his many loyal readers and those who are yet to encounter his unique work.


'Aldiss is more than an earnest Romantic. Like many science fiction authors, he loves big ideas of all sorts, and his poems display a capacious curiosity about everything from stillborn babies to literary categories, from fairytales to cats, from the popular nineteenth-centure painter John Martin to Gaugin, de Chirico, and many other painters.’

Jeff Gundy in Poetry Salzburg Review 20, Autumn 2011

‘Aldiss’s mythological imagination, at full throttle in books like Hothouse with its end-world hydrid creatures, creeps through into the metaphors of his poetry.’

Erik Martiny in The London Magazine, December/January 2011/12

'His voice is conversational and accessible...Few books range this widely; the result is something of a that often surprises and rewards'  

Jeff Gundy, Poetry Salzburg Review (Autumn 2011)

'Many of the poems in the collection deal with loss and sorrow, but science fans will not feel short-changed'

Kat Austen, NewScientist, March 2011 

The poem 'Lu Tai' is lovely and classically can tell immediately that he has loved poetry for a long time' 

Helena Nelson, Ambit, July 2011

'The genres of science fiction and poetry have (apparently) not inspired each other often, or with great success. . . Brian Aldiss, does not fall into this category. . . occupying a space between fantasy and realism'.

Jonathan Taylor, TLS, April 1 2011

‘A handsome and surprising selected poems from the distinguished science-fiction writer. These poems are formally accomplished, thematically wide-ranging and very good indeed.’

Peter Bennet in Other Poetry, Series 4, No 3.

'This new collection brings together a representative selection. He journeys far and wide: from East Cocker and Exmoor to Istanbul, Ulan Bator and Moscow, as well as Mars.'

Keith Richmond, Tribune


To buy this book:

Mortal Morning costs £12.99 and was published in March 2011.
ISBN: 978-1-906601-21-8

Brian Aldiss

Brian W. Aldiss, who was awarded an OBE for Services to Literature in 2005, is the author of over 60 books and is especially well known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Born in Dereham, Norfolk, in 1925, Aldiss’s long career has included the acclaimed novels Hothouse, Non-Stop and the Helliconia series, all regarded as modern classics. Aldiss’s work has been adapted for the cinema three times, including for the 2001 Kubrick/Speilberg production AI: Artificial Intelligence, and in 2000 he was elected Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.

His website is

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