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Brian W. Aldiss is among the most versatile of contemporary science-fiction authors. He is also knowledgeable about the genre, having published in 1973 the highly regarded study Billion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction (later updated and published as Trillion Year Spree). Born in East Dereham, Norfolk, Aldiss attended Framlingham College at Suffolk and West Buckland School. He worked as a bookseller at Oxford University and, later, as editor for the Oxford Mail and for Penguin Books. Through the years, Aldiss has been actively involved in various literary and science-fiction organizations, and has received numerous prestigious awards for his work, including the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Aldiss argues that writing is a compulsive act and that he doesn't really think about the reader until the process is completed. He claims that his work focuses on cultural and linguistic diversity, and he suggests that the "necessity of communication" is an integral part of his Helliconia novels. Aldiss published his first science fiction novel Non-Stop in 1958 (Its American title is Starship.) and has written prolifically ever since. Praised by the literary critics for his seemingly effortless ability to write in a wide variety of styles, Aldiss is more interested in his science fiction novels with human concerns than with technology. He frequently is on the cutting edge of new ideas, as seen in his epic Helliconia series, while also demonstrating an understanding of the genre's traditions, as seen in the reworking of the Frankenstein myth in Frankenstein Unbound (1973).