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Creator / John Wyndham

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John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris (10 July 1903 – 11 March 1969) was an English science fiction writer known for writing The Day of the Triffids, the novel for which Brian Aldiss (perhaps unfairly) coined the term "Cosy Catastrophe".

His other novels include The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed twice as Village of the Damned), Trouble With Lichen, and Chocky (adapted for TV).

He also wrote several collections of short stories.

Works by John Wyndham with their own trope pages include:

Other works by John Wyndham provide examples of:

  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: Spiders, in the posthumously-published Web.
  • Beneath the Earth: His early novel The Secret People depicts a couple becoming trapped in a retrogressive underground civilization of gnome-like pygmies beneath the Sahara.
  • Fungus Humongous: In The Secret People, these supply the only source of food and a very sub-rate leather-like material.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The short story "Compassion Circuit" concerns a robot nurse designed to always act for the benefit of its patient. The robots concludes that it would be a great benefit for as much as possible of the patient's body to be amputated and replaced with hard-wearing prosthetics, thus preventing further injuries — and when the patient disagrees, it takes matters into its own manipulatory appendages.
  • Guinea Pig Family: In Trouble with Lichen, a scientist who has created an anti-aging drug uses it on his children, telling them it's a vitamin shot.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: In the short story "Survival", a group of people are marooned for a year on a space station. As their desperation increases, they resort first to drawing lots, then to cannibalizing the losers' frozen bodies. When rescuers finally arrive, the one demented survivor sees them only as food.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The title character of Chocky.
  • Red Scare: This is in fact a fairly common theme in Wyndham's works, unsurprisingly when you consider that he was writing disaster fiction (mainly) at the beginning of the Cold War. It's notable however that, apart from some gentle mockery of the Soviet Union's rhetoric and bluster, they are never actually responsible for any of the disasters that take place (unless they did in fact originally create the Triffids), and in fact in The Midwich Cuckoos they realise much sooner than anybody else a) what is going on and b) what has to be done about it.
  • Same Face, Different Name: John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris published various works as John Wyndham, John Beynon, John Benyon Harris, Wyndham Parkes, Lucas Parkes, and at one point “John Wyndham and Lucas Parkes”.

Alternative Title(s): John Beynon