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John Wyndham:The Forgotten Master Of Science Fiction

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posted on May, 28 2003 @ 03:01 AM
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Back in the 19th century a new creative medium developed it was called Science Fiction.Two greats emerged early on.Both had large followings but their styles were very different.Jules Verne is no doubt the father of Sci-Fi.He worked purely within the framework of known science.A trip to the moon or beneath the oceans was undertaken using Victorian knowledge.Today his books may seem naive but at the time many scientist would of concured with what Vernes heros encountered and the methods they used to go on their adventures. Aurthur.C.Clark is to true inheritor of that style he uses the limits of man's knowledge and projects it forward to exploit future developements.

In Britain a young Sci-fi pretender emerged, H.G.Wells, his methods were slightly different.He asked his readers to except something impossible,or atleast unprovable,early in his books.It could be the existence of a Time Machine or Men from Mars.Once his readers had excepted the premise of his story,he then allowed his hero to run wild in the enviroment he had created.Jules Verne did not just look on with disaproval but took regular opportunities to criticise this young upstart for abusing science but this did not halt the booksales of H.G.Wells.The people loved them.It is John Wyndham who is the true inheritor of Wells' style.Many may have read his work but I'm writing this to encourage those that haven't to pick up one of his books.

John Wyndam was born in 1903 in England.He started writing stories for US publications from about 1930.During the war he worked in the Civil Service but in 1946 he returned to his writing and first started to write Science Fiction.
Of the work of his that I have read,One book is an all time great,two are classics of their genre,three aspire but just fall short and the rest is at best average,at worst poor.
The three that aspire are "The Kraken Awakes","The Chrysalids",and "The Trouble With Lichen".I have nothing against these three books,I have read them more than once.I just feel they fall short of Wyndham at his best.
The two I have chosen as Classics are "Chocky" and "The Midwich Cuckoos".The latter was filmed with the title "The Village Of The Damned".Everyone in a village is rendered unconcious on waking every female is found to be pregnant.Blonde haired,blue eyed children,with psychic powers with a plan to dominate the world are the result.
"Chocky" is the story of a young boy who is visited by an Alien.Space travel is only possible with out a mass and the Alien projects her consciousness into the mind of the boy.The boy developes new talents and quickly draws the attention of the authorities.

And now for the all time great.Those that have read John Wyndham will of known I would leave this one until last."The Day Of The Triffids".Please do not be put off if you have only seen the very poor B-Movie that bares the same name but resembles little this minor masterpiece.It is still as fresh today as when it was written.The Triffids are a genetically modified plant and one can't quite help feeling that it has more meaning today than when it was written.Mankind faces a vulnerable future in this story.

So,Bored??Can't think what to read next??
Pick up "Day Of The Triffids".You can only read a book for the first time once.And i'll be jealous of you.




posted on May, 28 2003 @ 03:54 AM
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Welcome back John!!!!

Where have you been we thought you had been kidnapped with UP.

I liked Wyndham as well, he was great



posted on May, 28 2003 @ 05:41 AM
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Day of The Triffids absolute classic, have n`t read anything else by him though. Just finished watching the tele series they made of the triffids, cracking stuff!



posted on May, 28 2003 @ 07:54 AM
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I watched that TV series when it came out.Is it the one with the guy with a beard playing the main part?If so it is the only adaption worth it's salt.
Where did you find it Cass??I've been looking in HMV and Virgin for the past two years for it.

[Edited on 28-5-2003 by John bull 1]



posted on May, 30 2003 @ 02:45 AM
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ahh, the beauty of satellite TV re-runs is in some cases godlike....oh and it is the one with the beardy guy, absolutely cracking stuff.






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