A Speculative Linkdump

I’m pretty busy at the moment with a big translation job, so here’s yet another bunch of links, this time vaguely speculative fiction themed.

Sheila Finch has a great post on fairytales, sexual taboos and animal shifters at the SFWA blog. Much food for thought there, also with regards to the PhD.

Dan Rebellato reappraises John Wyndham’s works at The Guardian.

The Guardian also has an older article on Wyndham, written for his centenary.

John Wyndham is undoubtedly of prime importance to British science fiction, if only because Nigel Kneale and the writers of Doctor Who and The Avengers ripped off Wyndham all the time and every other British writer of science fiction rips off Nigel Kneale, Doctor Who and The Avengers to some degree. So Wyndham is more the father of modern British SF than H.G. Wells. And in fact, I like both The Day of the Triffids and The Kraken Wakes quite a bit, though it is difficult to separate Day of the Triffids from its many official and unofficial (in the form of Doctor Who, Avengers and X-Files episodes) film versions.

However, my first experience with Wyndham was The Midwich Cuckoos or rather the 1960 film adaption Village of the Damned. And I violently dislike The Midwich Cuckoos. How could I not hate it – after all, it combines some of my most hated speculative fiction tropes in one handy package; Evil monster children, supernatural miracle pregnancies and a resolution in which murdering children is portrayed as a good thing. I gave up on Torchwood, a show I utterly loved in its first season, because of two of those three sins (and because they sidelined and killed off my favourite character), so you can imagine how I felt about Wyndham.

But perhaps it really is time to reappraise The Midwich Cuckoos, especially since I’ve never read the actual book.

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