Shuffling root vegetables reinvigorate the genre for a post-war readership.
John Wyndham's breakthrough novel turned science fiction into the sensation of the 1950s publishing market. Not that anyone knew that what they were buying was science fiction, as Wyndham insisted Penguin market his books as mainstream novels.
With its stereotypical, homely British setting and stiff upper lip stoicism in the face of complete societal collapse, Triffids created the template for what Brian Aldiss memorably dubbed the 'cosy catastrophe'. While most critics focus on the faintly ridiculous perambulating vegetation that terrorises Britain, the book's real core is a rumination on how British society might reorder itself if the slate were to be wiped clean - a distinct possibility in the new nuclear age its audience was coming to terms with.
Despite attempts made by a 1962 UK-produced movie and a 1981 BBC TV series, no one has successfully brought Triffids to the big or small screen (homicidal hedgerows present insurmountable production design difficulties, it would seem). Indeed, perhaps the most important re-imagining of the Triffids post-apocalyptic scenario is Danny Boyle's magnificent homage 28 Days Later, which exchanges Triffids for blood-crazed zombies.
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