Yes, That’s Why Aldiss Wrote Non-Stop

For some reason, one of the most popular reviews I’ve done at Amazon is for Brian Aldiss’ Non-Stop.

If you look at the comment fields, you’ll see people questioned my statement that the novel was “written as response to Robert A. Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky, a novel he felt lacking in emotion”.Non-Stop cover

I couldn’t find my documentation for this — until now.

From an Aldiss interview in the August 2000 issue of Locus:

 After all, that first novel of mine, Non-Stop, is directly attributable to Heinlein. His ‘Common Sense’ seemed to me such a good story, but bereft of any human feelings. I thought long about that story, and then I thought how wonderful it would be to write about a spaceship in which people have been imprisoned for generations and to put in something of the human feeling.

“Common Sense” became part of Orphans of the Sky and was first published in the October 1941 issue of Astounding Science-Fiction. (The first part of what became Heinlein’s novel, Universe, was published in the May 1941 issue of that magazine.)

And, yes, I’m going to maintain that “lacking in emotion” is the equivalent of “bereft of any human feelings”.

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