Chocky

John Wyndham
Brian W. Aldiss (Foreword By)

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New to Penguin Modern Classics, to tie in with the release of the Steven Spielberg film, and with a new introduction by Brian Aldiss

Matthew’s parents are worried. At eleven, he’s much too old to have an imaginary friend, yet they find him talking to and arguing with a presence that even he admits is not physically there. This presence – Chocky – causes Matthew to ask difficult questions and say startling things- he speaks of complex mathematics and mocks human progress. Then, when Matthew does something incredible, it seems there is more than the imaginary about Chocky. Which is when others become interested and ask questions of their own- who is Chocky? And what could it want with an eleven-year-old boy?

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ISBN – 9780141191492
Publisher – Penguin Books, Limited
Format – Paperback
Publication Date – 25/03/2010
Dimensions – 194mm X 128mm
Categories – Science Fiction and Fantasy

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John Wyndham
The Day of the Triffids

When Bill Masen wakes up blindfolded in hospital there is a bitter irony in his situation. Carefully removing his bandages, he realizes that he is the only person who can see: everyone else, doctors and patients alike, have been blinded by a meteor shower. Now, with civilization in chaos, the triffids – huge, venomous, large-rooted plants able to ‘walk’, feeding on human flesh – can have their day.

The Day of the Triffids, published in 1951, expresses many of the political concerns of its time: the Cold War, the fear of biological experimentation and the man-made apocalypse. However, with its terrifyingly believable insights into the genetic modification of plants, the book is more relevant today than ever before.

John Wyndham was born in 1903. After a wide experience of the English preparatory school he was at Bedales from 1918 to 1921. Careers which he tried included farming, law, commercial art, and advertising, and he first started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. During the war he was in the Civil Service and afterwards in the Army. In 1946 he began writing his major science fiction novels including The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids and The Midwich Cuckoos.

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Chrysalids

A powerful post-apocalyptic allegory of persecution and intolerance, the Penguin Modern Classics edition of John Wyndham’s science fiction masterpiece The Day of the Triffids contains an introduction by M. John Harrison.
Nuclear war has devastated the world, bringing with it a host of genetic mutations. In the bleak, primitive society that has emerged from its ruins, any sign of deviation, no matter how small, is ruthlessly rooted out and destroyed. David lives in fear of discovery, for he is part of a secret group of children who are able to communicate with each other by transferring thought-shapes into each other’s minds. As they grow older, they feel increasingly isolated. Then one of them marries a ‘norm’, with terrifying consequences.


John Wyndham (1903-1969) the son of a barrister, tried a number of careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising before writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. After serving in the Civil Service and the Army during the Second World War, he decided to try writing a modified form of Science Fiction, which he called ‘logical fantasy’. Among his most famous books are The Day of the Triffids (1951), The Kraken Wakes (1953), The Chrysalids (1955), The Midwich Cuckoos (1957, filmed twice as Village of the Damned), Trouble with Lichen (1960), and Chocky (1968).


If you enjoyed The Chrysalids, you might like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.


‘One of those few authors whose compulsive readability is a compliment to the intelligence’
Spectator

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