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The Saliva Tree: And Other Strange Growths Kindle Edition
“The Saliva Tree is an exuberant extended homage to [H .G.] Wells and the scientific romance tradition. . . . Aldiss wants to use fiction as a vehicle for talking about grand, abstract ideas, but he also wants to tell the stories of individuals.” —LocusOnline
“[A] great novelette . . . I have been reading Aldiss’s work with intense delight for something over forty-five years.” —Paul Di Filippo
About the Author
- ASIN : B00V7I1ATE
- Publisher : Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (May 19, 2015)
- Publication date : May 19, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 2871 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 241 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,786 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The Saliva Tree (The 1960s: Part 3, Chapter 7)
This story was written for the centenary of H.G. Wells's birth, and won the Nebula Award for Best Novella for 1964. It is a Victorian Age "War of the Worlds" tale of aliens landing on an English farm, with a Lovecraftian twist. H.G. Wells appears as a minor character.
Danger: Religion! (The 1960s: Part 1, Chapter 13)
This is one of quite a few Aldiss stories with terrible titles. I blame the editors. But the story is a clever tale of conflicts between "matrices" -- alternative worlds.
The Source (The 1960s: Part 3, Chapter 10)
Explorers pursue a quest on a far distant Earth that is way past its prime.
The Lonely Habit (The 1960s: Part 3, Chapter 18)
A Pleasure Shared (The 1960s: Part 1, Chapter 10)
One Role With Relish (The 1960s: Part 3, Chapter 20)
These are all non-science fiction stories. The first two fall somewhere near the horror genre, along with "The Saliva Tree," featuring protagonists with unsavory habits. The third is about a lonely man.
Legends of Smith's Burst (The 1950s: Chapter 53)
Also called "Sector Yellow," this is one of the stories collected in 1963 into the collection "Starswarm -- it is Chapter 6 in that volume. The story involves a sort of action-hero character trapped on a strange planet and tells of his attempt to escape.
The Day of the Doomed King (The 1960s: Part 3, Chapter 1)
This is a lovely non-science fiction story about a king of ancient Serbia. Aldiss wrote the story after traveling to Yugoslavia to meet with fans.
Paternal Care (The 1960s: Part 3, Chapter 21)
Another story with a terrible title, this is a very short, poignant, non-science fiction story of forbidden love.
The Girl and the Robot With Flowers (The 1960s: Part 3, Chapter 2)
This is a semi-autobiographical story about a science fiction author writing a science fiction story, which he describes to his wife. So the story is not science fiction, but contains a science fiction story in outline. Both humorous and affecting, it includes mention of the real-life SF authors and editors Poul Anderson, Jim Ballard, Harry Harrison, Mike Moorcock, and Fred Pohl. Ballard and Harrison were both close friends of Aldiss.
The last three stories are my favorites in this volume.
The chief virtue of "The Saliva Tree" collection as of this writing is its accessibility. But I recommend The Complete Short Stories instead. Aldiss, one of science fiction's all-time greats, was in my opinion at his best in short stories and novelettes, and there are many more (and better) stories found across the 149 stories he published from 1954-1969.
See my reviews of all five volumes.
(verified Amazon purchase of The Brian Aldiss Collection/The Complete Short Stories: The 1950s and The 1960s (Parts 1-4))