It was some little time later that the first one picked up its roots and walked

The birth of our son, and subsequent naming efforts, resulting in his middle name becoming Wyndham, reminded me that I’d been intending for years to locate and re-read some of the best fiction I’ve ever come across, written by one John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris… possibly the longest name ever.
This has actually taken a fair bit of detective work, as only one of his novels is still in print in North America. Apparently people have interpreted it as being a story about biological warfare, and find it to be prescient to current events, so it’s been deemed worthy of keeping around. I think everyone’s missed the point, and totally misinterpreted the value of all of his work, but I’m not complaining too much, because at least it enabled me to find one of this book.
In my opinion, The Day of the Triffids isn’t his best work, but it’s a place to start again. I’ll have to look a little harder to find the rest of his books.

4 thoughts on “It was some little time later that the first one picked up its roots and walked

  1. Is it really so hard to find Wyndham books?! I find that surprising. It’s also surprising, and sad, that they’re out of print. They’re certainly still in print in Britain. A survey of libraries (both university and public) and used book stores here in Canada suggests that they’re still widely available here. I’m sorry if the states is not as accommodating!
    Here are some titles to look for:
    The Chrysalids
    The Midwich Cuckoos
    The Kraken Wakes (also called Out of the Deeps)
    Stowaway to Mars
    The Secret People
    Seeds of Time and other stories
    There are a few others, too. He also wrote detective novels and plays before turning to humanistic sci fi, none of which I’ve been able to find.

  2. If I remember correctly, I introduced you to John Wyndham.
    I believe I read every one of those, save for Stowaway to Mars, in 9th grade. Our school in Germany had almost his complete works of Science Fiction. The library here is not nearly as enlightened.

  3. Your memory is slightly flawed. I had already read several of John Wyndham’s major works by early Gr 11, when we really became friends. You did, however, acquaint me with and loan me “Web” in spring 1997, and give me “The Chrysalids” for my 16th bday (which I’d already read).

  4. Interesting coincidence Jon. If you recall, a few months back I picked up your wife at the train station in Niagara Falls. Since I arrived in Niagara Falls an hour ahead of schedule and the train was two hours late, I had to find something to do to pass the time. So I went to the library and started reading the first book that caught my eye, which happened to be ‘The Day of the Triffids’

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