The Saliva Tree

Brian Aldiss marked the centenary year of H G Wells’ birth with this ingenious novella combining comedy, terror and, intriguingly, late nineteenth-century period charm. In a sleepy East Anglian town we meet Bruce Fox and Gregory Rolles – two young men who have sworn to Think Large in order to distinguish themselves from the masses of Cottersall. When a meteor lands in the pond of a local farm, Gregory seeks the advice of Mr Wells. Nine short stories complete the collection, including the highly autobiographical ‘Girl and Robot With Flowers’, which was taken up as a seminal story demarcating the new SF from the old.

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