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The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

The Midwich Cuckoos

Part of the S.F. Masterworks Series
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Highly Recommended.

This is a handsome new HB edition of Wyndham’s classic 1957 novel of generational paranoia and alien invasion. Wyndham has been a huge influence on two generations of SF writers but is perhaps more talked about than read these days. This deserves to change. This tightly plotted, beautifully concise and sinister tale of a clutch of alien yet beautiful and clever children is undoubtedly a novel of its time (the roles of men and women, the politics and the social scene all shout the 1950s) but Wyndham’s cool and merciless picking apart of our sense of superiority in the face of an uncaring and unfeeling Universe is timeless. There is a genuinely frightening apocalypse in the offing here and it is all the more frightening for playing out in a quiet English village. Wyndham’s writing is a genuine pleasure; his prose is elegant and his eye for character acute. He is a master at leaving things unsaid and leaving your mind to fill in the terrifying ramifications; things happen off the page, you are left to draw conclusions. Consequently he comes close to ending the world in less than 250 pages. It’s masterful stuff. In his eye for characterisation and his willingness to make the terrors existential he’s not unlike a very English Stephen King. Fans of King and those who wonder how the world really might end will enjoy letting Wyndham show them how. ~ Simon Spanton

If you like John Wyndham you might also like to read books by Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Larry Niven.


The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed - except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant. The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers, just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside ...The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.

About the Author

John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Benyon Harris was born in 1903, the son of a barrister. He tried a number of careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, and started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. From 1930 to 1939 he wrote short stories of various kinds under different names, almost exclusively for American publications, while also writing detective novels. During the war he was in the Civil Service and then the Army. In 1946 he went back to writing stories for publication in the USA and decided to try a modified form of science fiction, a form he called 'logical fantasy'. As John Wyndham he wrote The Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned), The Seeds of Time, Trouble with Lichen, The Outward Urge, Consider Her Ways and Others, Web and Chocky. John Wyndham died in March 1969.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th September 2016


John Wyndham

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Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


240 pages


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