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Travels abroad


A successful second marriage
Brian Aldiss Writer
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The year in Yugoslavia closed down. We came up along the coast and we drove back through Europe eating, possibly rather heavily – which we hadn't managed to do in Yugoslavia – back to England.

And there, we had a talk with Margaret's father, who suggested that I had had a year with his daughter and that I should marry her. Chivalric or not, I didn't like to confront him with the truth. I couldn't bring myself to do that, and I can quite see why I didn't, and that if I had it again, I probably would again fail to have protested, because I suppose the poor man – that was Jack Manson… Jack Manson, he was a good man, I liked him – I suppose he wanted to see his daughter securely married.

Well, so we got married, and she was a delightful lady there's no doubt in many respects. And, as with my first wife, Olive, I had had, or she had had should we say, a boy and a girl, so, with my second marriage, we had another boy and another girl. There's a kind of symmetry there, that might make many people to chew on their metaphysics, wouldn't you think? So it was a successful marriage in many respects. In some respects, it was not as successful and in those respects, I don't want to go into them.

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: father, daughter, marriage, children, symmetry

Duration: 2 minutes, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2014

Date story went live: 17 August 2015