The Day of the Triffids

Day of the Triffids
By John Wyndham

Synopsis: In 1951 John Wyndham published his novel The Day of the Triffids to moderate acclaim. Fifty-two years later, this horrifying story is a science fiction classic, touted by The Times(London) as having “all the reality of a vividly realized nightmare.”

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.

But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.

Published: 1st edition, 1951 | ISBN-13: 978-0812967128

There is not a post apocalyptic film or tv series that does not owe a debt to DOT. The zombies of Walking Dead have nothing on the Triffids. – JdW

Like others of John Wyndham’s books, it counsels against the greater excesses of science. Looking back to when I read it as a teenager, Day Of The Triffids presaged two such topics: The obvious one is bioengineering, the suggested origin of the triffids themselves. The second is the development of non-destructive, yet debilitating weapons. In the end the cause of the blindness is suggested to be military satellites developed for this very purpose. In the 1970s, the neutron bomb conceived as a weapon that that killed people but left places habitable. I recently heard Robin Bunce from Cambridge on ABC Radio National suggesting that the Daleks’ home planet of Skaro is a landscape left by a war involving neutron bombs. – Matt LC

Wikipedia Entry

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