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John Wyndham
Birth name: John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris
Gender: Male
Medium(s): Novels
Roles: Writer
Date of birth: July 10th, 1903
Place of birth: Warwickshire, England
Date of death: March 11th, 1969
Place of death: London, England
1st Sci-Fi: The Secret People

John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris was a science fiction author who was born in Knowle, Warwickshire, England on July 10th, 1903. He has authored stories under the pen names John Benyon and John Wyndham. The majority of Wyndham's work was published during the 1950s and early 1960s. He passed away in London, England on March 11th, 1969.

Biography Edit

John Wyndham began selling detective and science fiction short stories to American science pulp magazines under the pen names of 'John Beynon' in 1931. Wyndham's style was a reaction against what he described as the "galactic gangsters in space opera" style of much science fiction up to then. In his longer tales, he was more concerned with character development than many of his contemporaries. His first science fiction novel, The Secret People was published in 1936. The novel was set in the year 1964, and featured a British couple who found themselves held captive by an ancient race of pygmies dwelling beneath the Sahara desert. Like many of Wyndham's early works, The Secret People was written under the early pen name, John Beynon. Wyndham followed The Secret People with Planet Plane, which was published by George Newnes Limited in 1936 and has also been released under the title Stowaway to Mars.

In the 1940s, John Wyndham served in the Second World War. He was a censor in the Ministry of Information, then joined the army, serving as a Corporal cipher operator in the Royal Corps of Signals. After the war, Wyndham returned to writing and began publishing stories under the pen name John Wyndham. His best known work from this era is the 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids, a tale about a society rendered permanently blind due to the effects of a passing meteor shower. The Day of the Triffids has since been adapted into a 1962 feature film, a 1981 six-part mini-series and a 2009 two-part mini-series. He went on to write and publish six more novels under the name John Wyndham, all of which appeared in his lifetime.

In 1953, Wyndham wrote The Kraken Wakes, which was originally published by Michael Joseph in the UK and first published in the United States in the same year by Ballantine Books under the title Out of the Deeps. The title is a reference to Alfred Tennyson's sonnet The Kraken, which describes a Scandinavian sea monster.

In 1955, Michael Joseph published Wyndham's next novel, The Chrysalids, which was later adapted for BBC radio by Barbara Clegg in 1982. It was was published in the United States under the title Re-Birth.

Wyndham's next novel, The Midwich Cuckoos was published by Ballantine Books in 1957. A story of a society of children whose origins are the product of xenogenesis, The Midwich Cuckoos was adapted into films in 1960 and 1995, both under the title Village of the Damned.

In 1968, Wyndham wrote Chocky, which was published by Michael Joseph. The story revolved around an alien conscious, which communed with a young boy named Matthew. Matthew's father, unaware of the truth surrounding Matthew, believed his son to have an imaginary friend. Chocky was later adapted into a series of three children's television shows that aired on the BBC during the 1980s.

Wyndham's final literary work was the short novel Web, which was published posthumously by Michael Joseph in 1979, ten years after Wyndham's death.

Body of work Edit

Novels Edit

Title Year
The Secret People 1935
Planet Plane 1936
The Day of the Triffids 1951
The Kraken Wakes 1953
The Chrysalids 1955
The Midwich Cuckoos 1957
The Outward Urge 1959
Trouble With Lichen 1960
Chocky 1968

Film Adaptations Edit

Title Year
Village of the Damned 1960
The Day of the Triffids 1962
Village of the Damned 1995
The Day of the Triffids 2009

Television Adaptations Edit

Series Episode Airdate
Out of This World Dumb Martian June 24th, 1962
Out of the Unknown No Place Like Earth October 1st, 1965
Out of the Unknown Random Quest February 11th, 1969
The Day of the Triffids Part One September 10th, 1981
The Day of the Triffids Part Two September 11th, 1981
The Day of the Triffids Part Three September 12th, 1981
The Day of the Triffids Part Four September 13th, 1981
The Day of the Triffids Part Five September 14th, 1981
The Day of the Triffids Part Six September 15th, 1981
Chocky Part One January 9th, 1984
Chocky Part Two January 16th, 1984
Chocky Part Three January 23rd, 1984
Chocky Part Four January 30th, 1984
Chocky Part Five February 6th, 1984
Chocky Part Six February 13th, 1984
Chocky's Children Part One January 7th, 1985
Chocky's Children Part Two January 14th, 1985
Chocky's Children Part Three January 21st, 1985
Chocky's Children Part Four January 28th, 1985
Chocky's Children Part Five February 4th, 1985
Chocky's Children Part Six February 11th, 1985
Chocky's Challenge Part One September 29th, 1986
Chocky's Challenge Part Two October 6th, 1986

Notes & Trivia Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit



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