After all, what is a planet but an island in space?
Imagine a world overrun by a deadly breed of giant killer plants. Or a world flooded by deadly alien invaders located at the bottom of the ocean. Or a teenage boy whose apparently innocent conversations with an “imaginary friend” might well be something altogether more sinister.
All these and many other scenarios came from the mind of John Wyndham, one of the most celebrated British science fiction authors of the post-war era.
After a number of other careers including a period of war service, Wyndham began constructing his series of “cosy catastrophes” in the 1950s. He remains very influential today. The opening of his most famous novel, The Day of the Triffids, for example, in which the main character awakes in a hospital and explores the empty streets of a seemingly abandoned London, had a direct echo in the Danny Boyle film 28 Days Later and was in some ways similar to the opening of TV’s Walking Dead.
The writer pioneered a form of sci-fi that’s set on Earth instead of outer space. “Logical fantasy” he called it.
The author’s other books included The Midwich Cuckoos, Chocky and The Kraken Wakes.
Most warn of the dangers of uncontrolled human technology or of the danger that humanity’s status as the planet’s dominant species could all too easily... be under threat.