john wyndham


  • 17 (London: Aldine Publishing Co. Ltd) • The Secret People (1935), as by John Beynon • Foul Play Suspected (1935), as by John Beynon • Planet Plane (1936), as by John Beynon;
    republished as The Space Machine and as Stowaway to Mars • Love in Time (1946), as by Johnson Harris Novels published in his lifetime as by John Wyndham[edit] • The Day of the Triffids (1951), also known as Revolt of the Triffids • The Kraken
    Wakes (1953), published in the U.S. as Out of the Deeps • The Chrysalids (1955), published in the U.S. as Re-Birth • The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), filmed twice as Village of the Damned, and also as a Sky Max TV serial in 2022 • The Outward Urge
    (1959), as by John Wyndham and Lucas Parkes • Trouble with Lichen (1960) • Chocky (1968) Posthumously published novels[edit] • Web (1979) • Plan for Chaos (2009) Short story collections published in his lifetime[edit] • Jizzle (1954) (“Jizzle”,
    “Technical Slip”, “A Present from Brunswick”, “Chinese Puzzle”, “Esmeralda”, “How Do I Do?

  • He also used the pen name Wyndham Parkes for one short story in the British Fantasy Magazine in 1939, as John Beynon had already been credited for another story in the same

  • His pre-war writing career was not mentioned in the book’s publicity and people were allowed to assume that this was a first novel from a previously unknown writer.

  • Inspired by the success of his younger brother Vivian Beynon Harris, who had four novels published starting in 1948, he altered his writing style and, by 1951, using the John
    Wyndham pen name for the first time, he wrote the novel The Day of the Triffids.

  • He saw action during World War II and went back to writing afterwards, publishing several very successful novels, and influencing a number of other writers who followed him.

  • “, “Stitch in Time”, “Random Quest”, “A Long Spoon”) • The Infinite Moment (1961), U.S. edition of Consider Her Ways and Others, with two stories dropped, two others added
    Posthumously published collections[edit] • Sleepers of Mars (1973), a collection of five stories originally published in magazines in the 1930s: “Sleepers of Mars”, “Worlds to Barter”, “Invisible Monster”, “The Man from Earth” and “The Third
    Vibrator” • The Best of John Wyndham (1973) • Wanderers of Time (1973), a collection of five stories originally published in magazines in the 1930s: “Wanderers of Time”, “Derelict of Space”, “Child of Power”, “The Last Lunarians” and “The
    Puff-ball Menace” (aka “Spheres of Hell”) • The Man from Beyond and Other Stories (1975) • Exiles on Asperus (1979) • No Place Like Earth (2003) Short stories[edit] John Wyndham’s many short stories have also appeared with later variant titles
    or pen names.

  • “[16] Many other writers have acknowledged Wyndham’s work as an influence on theirs, including Alex Garland, whose screenplay for 28 Days Later draws heavily on The Day of
    the Triffids.

  • Critical reception John Wyndham’s reputation rests mainly on the first four of the novels published in his lifetime under that name.

  • [19] Atwood wrote: “…one might as well call World War II—of which Wyndham was a veteran—a ‘cozy’ war because not everyone died in it.

  • [7] Postwar After the war Wyndham returned to writing, still using the pen name John Beynon.

  • They embarked on a long-lasting love affair, and obtained adjacent rooms in the club, but for many years did not marry, partly because of the marriage bar under which Wilson
    would have lost her position.

  • Two story collections, Jizzle and The Seeds of Time, were published in the 1950s under Wyndham’s name, but included several stories originally published as by John Beynon
    before 1951.

  • [4] He and his younger brother, the writer Vivian Beynon Harris, spent the rest of their childhoods at a number of English preparatory and public schools, including Blundell’s
    School in Tiverton, Devon, during the First World War.

  • Early career After leaving school, Wyndham tried several careers, including farming, law, commercial art and advertising; however, he mostly relied on an allowance from his
    family to survive.

  • He wrote and published six more novels under the name John Wyndham, the name he used professionally from 1951 onwards.

  • His wartime letters to his long-time partner, Grace Wilson, are now held in the Archives of the University of Liverpool.

  • [5] His debut short story, “Worlds to Barter”, appeared under the pen name John B. Harris in 1931.

  • On the plausibility of his writing, The Guardian states his “innocuously English backdrops are central to the power of his novels, implying that apocalypse could occur at
    any time — or, indeed, be happening in the next village at this moment”, while The Times’s reviewer of The Day of the Triffids described it as possessing “all the reality of a vividly realised nightmare.

  • “, “Perforce to Dream”, “Reservation Deferred”, “Heaven Scent”, “More Spinned Against”) • The Seeds of Time (1956) (“Chronoclasm”, “Time to Rest”, “Meteor”, “Survival”, “Pawley’s
    Peepholes”, “Opposite Number”, “Pillar to Post”, “Dumb Martian”, “Compassion Circuit”, “Wild Flower”) • Tales of Gooseflesh and Laughter (1956), U.S. edition featuring stories from the two earlier collections • Consider Her Ways and Others
    (1961) (“Consider Her Ways”, “Odd”, “Oh, Where, Now, is Peggy MacRaffery?

  • [a] The Day of the Triffids remains his best-known work, but some readers consider that The Chrysalids was really his best.

  • John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris (/ˈwɪndəm/; 10 July 1903 – 11 March 1969)[2] was an English science fiction writer best known for his works published under the pen
    name John Wyndham, although he also used other combinations of his names, such as John Beynon and Lucas Parkes.

  • He tried several careers before publishing a novel and several short stories.

  • Subsequent stories were credited to ‘John Beynon Harris’ until mid-1935, when he began to use the pen name John Beynon.

  • The stories include: • “Worlds to Barter” (1931) • “The Lost Machine” (1932) • “The Stare” (1932) • “The Venus Adventure” (1932) • “Exiles on Asperus” (1933) • “Invisible
    Monster” (1933) • “Spheres of Hell” (1933) [as by John Beynon] • “The Third Vibrator” (1933) • “Wanderers of Time” (1933) [as by John Beynon] • “The Man from Earth” (1934) • “The Last Lunarians” (1934) [as by John Beynon] • “The Moon Devils”
    (1934) [as by John Beynon Harris] • “The Cathedral Crypt” (1935) [as by John Beynon Harris] • “The Perfect Creature” (1937) • “Judson’s Annihilator” (1938) [as by John Beynon] • “Child of Power” (1939) [as by John Beynon] • “Derelict of Space”
    (1939) [as by John Beynon] • “The Trojan Beam” (1939) • “Vengeance by Proxy” (1940) [as by John Beynon] • “Meteor” (1941) [as by John Beynon] • “Living Lies” (1946) [as by John Beynon] • “Technical Slip” (1949) [as by John Beynon] • “Jizzle”
    (1949) • “Adaptation” (1949) [as by John Beynon] • “The Eternal Eve” (1950) • “Pawley’s Peepholes” (1951) • “The Red Stuff” (1951) • “Tyrant and Slave-Girl on Planet Venus” (1951) [as by John Beynon][24] • “And the Walls Came Tumbling Down”
    (1951) • “A Present from Brunswick” (1951) • “Bargain from Brunswick” (1951) • “Pillar to Post” (1951) • “The Wheel” (1952) • “Survival” (1952) • “Affair of the Heart” (1952) • “Dumb Martian” (1952) • “Time Out” (1953) • “Close Behind Him”
    (1953) • “Time Stops Today” (1953) • “Chinese Puzzle” (1953) • “Chronoclasm’ (1953) • “Reservation Deferred’ (1953) • “More Spinned Against” (1953) • “Confidence Trick’ (1953) • “How Do I Do?”

  • [20] Personal life In 1963, he married Grace Isobel Wilson, whom he had known for more than thirty years.

  • David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, wrote of it: “One of the most thoughtful post-apocalypse novels ever written.

  • He also wrote passionately about his love for her and his fears that he would be so tainted she would not be able to love him when he returned.

  • Several have been filmed: “Consider Her Ways”, “Random Quest”, “Dumb Martian”, “A Long Spoon”, “Jizzle” (filmed as “Maria”) and “Time to Rest” (filmed as No Place Like Earth).

  • His best known works include The Day of the Triffids (1951), filmed in 1962, and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), which was filmed in 1960 as Village of the Damned, in 1995 under
    the same title, and again in 2022 in Sky Max under its original title.


Works Cited

[‘o For example, around 2000 they were all reprinted as Penguin Modern Classics.
o Aldiss, Brian W (2004). “Harris, John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33728.
Retrieved 1 May 2010. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
o ^ Online birth records show that the birth of a John Wyndham P. L. B. Harris was registered in Solihull in July–September 1903.
o ^ “John Wyndham (1903-1969)”. The
Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
o ^ Binns 2019, pp. 30–32.
o ^ Jump up to:a b “John Wyndham & H G Wells”. Christopher Priest. 1 December 2000. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
o ^ “Summary Bibliography:
John Wyndham”. Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Binns 2019, pp. 65–77.
o ^ The Tablet, 5 September 2020, p. 15.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Liptak, Andrew (7 May 2015). “John Wyndham and the Global
Expansion of Science Fiction”. Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
o ^ “John Wyndham”. The Guardian. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
o ^ “John Wyndham Archive”. University of Liverpool Special Collection Archive.
o ^ “The Chrysalids
– Novel”. h2g2. BBC. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
o ^ Aldiss 1973, p. 254.
o ^ “Jo Walton’s review of The Chrysalids”. 27 October 2008.
o ^ “The Chrysalids by John Wyndham: 9781590172926 | Books”. Retrieved
25 October 2019.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Atwood, Margaret (8 September 2015). “The Forgotten Sci-Fi Classic That Reads Like a Prequel to E.T.” Slate Magazine. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
o ^ “IMDb”.[unreliable source?]
o ^ Aldiss 1973, p. 293.
o ^
Hurst, L. J. (August–September 1986). “‘We Are the Dead’: The Day of the Triffids and Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Vector. Pipex. 113: 4–5. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013.
o ^ Kaye, Don (28 April 2015). “Exclusive: Ex Machina writer/director
Alex Garland on ‘small’ sci-fi films, sentient machines and going mainstream”. Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
o ^ “John Wyndham”. Literary Encyclopedia. 7 November 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
o ^
“John Wyndham Archive”. Archived from the original on 2 December 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
o ^ “Triffid Alley, Hampstead”. Triffid Alley. Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
o ^ Beynon, John. “Tyrant
and Slave-Girl on Planet Venus”. 10 Story Fantasy (Spring 1951): 4–31. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
• Aldiss, Brian W (1973). Billion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-76555-4.
• Harris, Vivian Beynon,
“My Brother, John Wyndham: A Memoir” transcribed and edited by David Ketterer, in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 28 (Spring 1999) pp. 5–50
• Binns, Amy (2019). Hidden Wyndham: Life, Love, Letters. Grace Judson Press. ISBN
• Ketterer David, “Questions and Answers: The Life and Fiction of John Wyndham” in The New York Review of Science Fiction 16 (March 2004) pp. 1, 6–10
• Ketterer, David, “The Genesis of the Triffids” in The New York Review of Science
Fiction 16 (March 2004) pp. 11–14
• Ketterer, David, “John Wyndham and the Sins of His Father: Damaging Disclosures in Court” in Extrapolation 46 (Summer 2005) pp. 163–188
• Ketterer, David (1 July 1999). “‘Vivisection’: Schoolboy ‘John Wyndham’s’
First Publication?”. Science Fiction Studies. Depauw. 78: 303–311. Archived from the original on 8 January 2004. Retrieved 19 December 2003..
• Ketterer, David, “‘A Part of the … Family’: John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos’ as Estranged Autobiography
in Learning from Other Worlds: Estrangement, Cognition and the Politics of Science Fiction and Utopia edited by Patrick Parrinder (Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 2001) pp. 146–177
• Ketterer, David, “When and Where Was John Wyndham Born?”
in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 42 (Summer 2012/13) pp. 22–39
• Ketterer, David, “John Wyndham (1903[?]–1969)” in The Literary Encyclopedia (online, 7 November 2006)
• Ketterer, David, “John Wyndham: The Facts of Life
Sextet” in A Companion to Science Fiction edited by David Seed (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003) pp. 375–388
• Ketterer, David, “John Wyndham’s World War III and His Abandoned Fury of Creation Trilogy” in Future Wars: The Anticipations and the Fears edited
by David Seed (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2012) pp. 103–129
• Ketterer, David, “John B. Harris’s Mars Rover on Earth” in Science Fiction Studies 41 (July 2014) pp. 474–475
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