THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS by John Wyndham (hier online bestellen)
The triffid of the title is a very strange fictional plant, which has rudimentary animal-like behaviour: it
is able to uproot itself and move, and possesses a whip-like poisonous sting.
The narrator recounts how the plant was discovered when he was a child, and quickly becomes established as
a major crop due to its invaluable edible oils and proteins. After a plane accident, seeds spread across
the world and the plants become commonplace. Many households keep them as a curiosity, almost a garden pet,
making sure to have the sting docked at regular intervals. In commercial exploitation, the stings are left
intact as docking impairs the quality of the plant.
The book opens with the narrator in hospital, with his eyes bandaged after being stung by a triffid.
He discovers that while he had been blindfolded, an unusual meteor shower has blinded most people on Earth.
He finds people in London struggling to stay alive, some cooperating, some fighting: after just a few days
society is collapsing.
Meanwhile, triffids are quickly regrowing their stings. Undocked triffids in captivity break free. The handful
of sighted survivors escape the general collapse, to be faced by the growing numbers of free, undocked
triffids, which attack animals to later digest the bodies with their roots.
The possible intelligence of the plants is suggested; as well as the idea that they may have been genetically
engineered by humans in the first place. The question of whether the meteor shower was in fact some sort of
space-based weapons system which misfired is also raised.
The novel end with the triffids still dominant and a few human survivors grimly attempting to fight back.
Extract from book:
... About ten minutes after I got home I was digging around our triffid (i.e. a kind of plant), carefully loosening
the earth near it to encourage it 'to walk'.
Unfortunately there was an aspect of this self-propelled plant discovery which the news-reel people had either not experienced,
or chosen for some reason of their own not to reveal. There was no warning, either. I was bending down intent on clearing the earth
without harming the plant, when something from nowhere hit me one terrific slam, and knocked me out...
I woke up to find myself in bed, with my mother, my father, and the doctor watching me anxiously. My head felt as if it were split open,
I was aching all over, and, as I later discovered, one side of my face was decorated with a blotchy-red raised
weal. The insistent question as to how I came to be lying unconscious in the garden were quite useless; I had no faintest idea
what it was that had hit me. And some little time passed before I learned that I must have been one of the first persons
in England to be stung by a triffid and get away with it. The triffid was, of course immature. But before I had fully
recovered my father had found out what had undoubtedly happened to me, and by the time I went into the garden
again he had wreaked stern vengeance on our triffid, and disposed of the remains on a bonfire. ....
About the author:
Wyndham was born in the village of Knowle in the county of Warwickshire, England. His father
were separated when he eight years old, after which he and his brother, the writer Vivian Beynon Harris,
had no settled home.
He grew up in a series of English boarding schools staying longest at Bedales (1918-1921), which he left
at the age of 18.
Despite this, his brother Vivian says: "He had a wonderful childhood and teenage time."
After leaving school he studied farming for a while, changed his mind about going to Oxford University and
tried several ways of earning a living, but mostly relying on an allowance from his family. He eventually
turned to writing for money in 1925. Throughout the 1930's he wrote many stories, mainly for American
periodicals. He wrote some detective stories as well as science fiction.
Between 1940 and 1943, Wyndham was a civil servant with the British Government, working in censorship. He
went into the army, where he was a Corporal Cipher Operator in the Royal Signal Corps, in time to participate
in the Normandy landings.
In 1963 he married Grace Wilson. The couple lived out their lives near Petersfield, Hampshire, England,
just outside the grounds of Bedales School.
THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS by John Wyndham
Broschiert - 272 Seiten - Penguin Books
Preis: € 11,95
If you want to buy below collection of SF stories second hand (hardback - c. 700 pp.) (€ 15 incl. postage), send me an eMail
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