Monday, 3 January 2011

Further reading

I've just finished reading John Wyndham's Trouble With Lichen. I enjoyed it as much as all the others of his books that I've read, just about. Perhaps I'm getting used to his style. I've praised his originality before but I think having read 2000ad strips like Future Shocks and Time Twisters primes you for this sort of thing.

Back in October I took his The Chrysalids along as a holiday book. I'd nearly bought it once before at that book market under Waterloo Bridge, but I was put off by a terrible cover: an ant warrior thing brandishing a spear. Anyway, on holiday, as with all his books I polished it off in a couple of days. I found it his most disorietating book so far, and that's what you want from science fiction isn't it?

Like many successful authors his most popular novels get reissued as a set and all my copies come from different sets. My favourite of those that I actually own is the Midwich Cuckoos cover that I posted a while back, the rest are fairly bland. My Trouble With Lichen has a cover by Brian Cronin whose versions got a bit of a kicking over at Caustic Cover Critic a while back, and perhaps justifiably. I do like his cover for The Chrysalids though, which is the picture up there, out of all the scenes in the book one of the subtlest to choose from. If I was designing a cover for it I'd probably have gone for a nice, horrific depiction of the chief mutant Gordon Strorm.

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