The tale of a strange friendship between a boy and an alien.
John Wyndham frequently railed against a style of science fiction he called "the galactic gangster in space opera". He was determined that his own tales would have a recognisable English setting, with real-life concerns and issues. Hence this novel, one of his last, begins with a parent concerned about his son, Matthew. Matthew has an imaginary pal called Chocky, but is a bit old for such things.
Thanks to this friend, Matthew becomes highly intelligent, amazing his classmates, but it soon becomes clear that Chocky is in fact an alien entity. Needless to say, this is of great interest to the government.
Perhaps stung by dismissal of his works as "cosy disasters" and unhappy with his own reputation as the "master of middle-class catastrophe", Wyndham gave the book a more personal and character-driven feel. This carries through to its finale, which is one of Wyndham's darkest and most pessimistic.
The book was made into a series by ATV in 1984, followed over the next two years by Chocky's Children and Chocky's Challenge.
Work nominated by posterMPD05, Ashely Stewart-Noble and Dealergeek.