When I was in Junior High (’82-’83), I found a book in the school library called The Long Afternoon of Earth by Brian Aldiss. I thought it was absolutely fascinating! It was an abridged version of Hothouse, but I wouldn’t learn that until many years later.
Flash forward to sometime in the mid-90’s and I had been trying to remember the title, but it escaped me. I remembered the author though. I’d ask in various used book stores whenever I moved somewhere new (I never spent more than 2 years in any one place from 1988 to 2002). All I could remember was that the cover was kind of green, it took place very far in the future and the Earth had stopped rotating on its axis. There were gigantic, mile-long spiders that had spun webs from the Earth’s surface to the moon. Humans had devolved into these three-foot-tall little monkey-dudes. That’s it, that’s all I could remember.
Around 1997, I was in a used bookstore in Coeur d’Alene, ID, asking the owner if he’d heard of such a thing and naturally he didn’t have a clue. I turned around to leave and (swear to God – if I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’) noticed the spine of a book on the scifi shelf about 10 feet away. I walked toward it like a freaking cat stalking a robin and sure-as-shit, there it was. People talk about miracles. That, my friend, was a miracle. The odds of that happening were nil. I bought it and still have it. I found a copy of Hothouse a short time afterwards in a used bookstore in El Cajon, CA.
I had decided that Aldiss was my favorite author when I first read that book in the early 80’s and I’ve considered him such ever since. The adventure of finding that book really clinched the deal and holds some pretty special meaning for me. I’ve read about a dozen of his stories and have seven or eight of his books on the shelf.
So, yeah… if you were to ask me who my favorite author is, it’s Brian Aldiss.