John Wyndham

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John Wyndham was the pen name used by the apocalyptically oriented British science fiction writer John Beynon Parkes Lucas Harris. In his earlier writings, he used various combinations of his names, and in one example, `The Outward urge' actually pretended to be two collaborating authors.

His book The Day of the Triffids was possibly the origin of the style of British science fiction described as the `cosy catastrophe' in which everyone is killed but a handful of middle-class survivors. Though this was his most famous book, adding the word "Triffid" to the english language, several of his other books are proving to be more durable:

The Midwich Cuckoos depicted a small village in which, during 24 hours when the inhabitants are unconscious, and the village is cut off from the outside world, all the women of child-bearing age mysteriously become pregnant, eventually giving birth to golden eyed children with telepathic abilities. It was filmed as "Village of the Damned", with (unusually for a science fiction film) the plot being kept fairly closely to the book. There was also later remake in colour by John Carpenter

The Chrysalids depicted a rural community in Newfoundland, several centuries after some nuclear war, with a religious obsession about eliminating those born with any genetic abnormalities - it follows a small group of cousins who realise their telepathic abilities have to be hidden, and their troubles when these are discovered.

Other books:

  • Sleepers of Mars (by "John Beynon")
  • The Outward Urge (by "John Wyndham" and "Lucas Parkes")
  • The Kraken Wakes
  • Trouble with Lichen
  • Chocky