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12th December 2018
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My Science Fiction Life

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Day of the Triffids

1951

Book: Day of the Triffids

Author: John Wyndham

Recollections...

a scarey easy 1st SF readyarrow icon

Early 80 when I was around 14
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A Gardeners Nightmare!!!arrow icon

My teacher read it to a class of 10 year olds and i was transfixed. Everyone else ignored it but I was really spooked!
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Scarey, exciting and prophteticarrow icon

recommended by my dad to read it - roughly 10-11 years old...
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More recollections...

In Depth

Day of the Triffids

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.

Paulvonscott recommends...


My Science Fiction Life contributor paulvonscott recommends his favourite stories from the site.

"I thought hard about them, but I think all of these show how science fiction affects people's lives," he says.

PaulGee31 on Day of the Triffids
It's great to be a thicky!

angelicSpaceboy on Journey into Space
Angelic's vicar rescheduled God for it...

MossyMermaid on The Stone Tape
30 years on, it claims another victim.

JennyDay on Tron
Loved how this changed a software engineer's life.

paulg1974 on Life on Mars
"I hope it's not Crime Traveller again." Exactly!

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