Tuesday, 21 December 2010

John Wyndham recalled

There was a programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning about John Wyndham, the science fiction writer. I meant to listen to it but as usual got engrossed in something else and forgot. But fortunately it is now possible of course to use Listen Again.

He was a writer I grew up with in the 1950s, and I read all his books, probably from the Public Library, and have returned to them from time to time, and picked up second-hand paperback copies a few years ago, when I joined the Leicester Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror group, and compiled my Guide to Fantasy Authors and Tales (which I must update some time).

I've always been fascinated by his full name which was John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, as if he was named after a team of some kind! He used various different combinations of these names for his fiction. His "John Wyndham" style matured after his experiences during the second world war.

In the programme it was mentioned that he called his novels and short stories "Logical fantasies". It seems he was an atheist, since he intended to leave the rights in his royalties to two daughters of a friend or relative, but changed his will when one of them went into a convent as a nun. He also lived in London at something called the Quaker Pen Club, which I'd not heard of before.

I must read The Chrysalids. I seem to have missed that one.

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