Attack of the flymen (1983)

“Flymen were crafty enemies, seldom seen but much dreaded by the group. They worked by stealth. Though they did not kill unless forced to, they stole children, which was reckoned almost a graver crime. Catching them was hard. Flymen did not fly properly, but the crash glides they fell into carried them swiftly away through the forest, safe from human reprisal…

Jury raised her knife to settle the struggle and thrust her knife deep between the flyman’s ribs, four times over, till the blood poured across her clenched fist. Jury stood up gasping and leaned against Flor. “I grow old” she said. “Once it was no trouble to kill a flyman.”

With one foot she pushed the limp body over the edge of the branch. It rolled messily then dropped. With its old wizened wings tucked uselessly about its head, the flyman fell to the green.”

From “Hothouse” by Brian Aldiss © 1962


The the final picture in the series in a number of watercolour illustrations for the Brian Aldiss science fiction novel “Hothouse.”

Worlds in the Making