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Who Goes There? (RosettaBooks into Film) [Kindle Edition]

John W. Campbell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A remote scientific research expedition at the North Pole is invaded by a monstrous alien, reawakened after lying frozen for centuries after a crash-landing. The alien is intelligent, cunning and a shape-changer who can assume the form and personality of anything it destroys and soon it is among the men of the expedition, killing and replacing them, using its shape-changing ability to lull the scientists one by one into inattention and destruction. The transformed alien can seemingly pass every effort at detection and the expedition seems doomed...

WHO GOES THERE?, according to the science fiction historian Sam Moskowitz (1920-1997), had an autobiographical impetus: Campbell's mother and aunt were identical twins and enjoyed the "game" of substituting for one another in his care as an infant and young child, confusing him again and again with false identity. It was this uncertainty, this susceptibility to masquerade and his terror at the game which, Moskowitz said, Campbell funneled into this last and greatest of his magazine pieces. (A short novel, THE MOON IS HELL, was published only in book form in the early 1950's.) Carefully and rigorously extrapolated in its portrait of the menaced expedition, the novelette is regarded as perhaps the greatest horror story to emerge form the field of science fiction. It was the basis for one of the great early science fiction films and its excellent remake decades later.

Campbell had become the editor of ASTOUNDING five months before the early 1938 publication of the story. As editor of that magazine, he insisted upon rigorous scientific background, humanized characters and values and a standard of writing comparable to that in the leading consumer magazines of the time. In pursuit, Campbell found a generation of new writers - Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Sprague de Camp, A.E. Van Vogt, Henry Kuttner, Lester del Rey among them - who collectively (and individually!) produced an extraordinary body of work.

WHO GOES THERE? provided the basis of the 1951 cult horror film THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD and was remade into John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), also regarded as a classic science fiction film, who's prequel THE THING launched in 2011. The copyright of the novelette was, typically of the time, owned by Street & Smith Publications to whose magazine Campbell had sold all of the rights. Hawks paid Street & Smith $900 for all film rights, $500 of that was paid over "voluntarily" by Street & Smith to Campbell. "Don't you feel cheated?" Isaac Asimov said he asked Campbell at the time of the film's successful release. "No," Campbell said. "If it's a good film and it will get more people to read science fiction and take it seriously, then it's all a very good thing."


Editorial Reviews

Review

Every single one of these seven stories is pure science fiction gold, not only standing the test of time after 80 years but simply inspired works of fiction. Anyone really interested in science fiction should read this collection and see how it's written by the very best. -- Anthony Jones SFBOOKREVIEWS blog 20120108

Review

"An expert in the art and science of scaring the hell out of people." On William F. Nolan, author of Who Goes There? SCREEN TREATMENT, included in the Rocket Ride Books edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 242 KB
  • Print Length: 75 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0899667341
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (July 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XVYLGW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,044 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before you buy this... March 14, 2004
By Dave_42
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Before you buy "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell Jr., you should first consider "A New Dawn: The Complete Don A. Stuart Stories" by the same author. It contains all the works of short fiction that are in this book, and it includes 9 more, as well as two articles. The price of "A New Dawn..." is just a little more than the cost of this book. As for this printing of "Who Goes There?", it is well put together; the binding and paper are high quality. They could have done a better job in proofreading though, as there are several places where there are missing letters, or spaces that appear in the middle of a word. It does not occur so often as to make it a big problem, but I found it to be noticeable.

This printing, from Buccaneer Books, is a reprint of the 1948 book of the same name. It contains seven short fiction pieces originally published in "Astounding Science Fiction" between November of 1934, and August of 1938. They were originally published under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart. This collection was tied for 13th with four other books on the Arkham Survey in 1949 as one of the 'Basic SF Titles'. In addition, on the 'Astounding/Analog All-Time - Book' polls in 1952 and 1956 it was rated 5th and tied for 13th respectively.

John W. Campbell (1910-1971) was undoubtedly best known as the editor of "Astounding Science Fiction" from 1937-1971, but he also wrote quite a few books and short fiction pieces along the way. This collection includes perhaps his best known stories: "Who Goes There?", "Twilight", and "Night".

"Who Goes There?" is the classic story of a group of scientists in Antarctica who discover an alien who was frozen there millions of years ago.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Science fiction devotees have long enjoyed viewing Howard Hawks' "The Thing," the classic 1951 film which helped usher in that decade's output of great and not-so-great sci-fi literature and films. This Hollywood effort, which ended as a dated cautionary tale warning of the perils from the skies (read: Russian menace) was remade by John Carpenter in 1982 as "John Carpenter's The Thing," an excellent and chilling revisitation of the theme of alien invasion, both planetary and corporeal. I had assumed that this film's graphic depiction of another life form's assimilation and extermination of humans was the pinnacle (in 1982) of sci-fi horror; that is, until I read the novella upon which these two films were based. John W. Campbell, Jr.'s "Who Goes There?" is literally a story that takes hold of one from the first paragraph and refuses to let go until the last. A narrative in the tradition of Lovecraft's "At The Mountains of Madness" and E.A. Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," this is one of those increasingly rare books which can frighten one more readily than the most overtly obvious visual media, such as film or television. I cannot recommend this book enough; it will satisfy the hardcore science fiction fanatic (in which category this reviewer decidedly does NOT fit), the mystery buff, and the average reader who enjoys a well-crafted story. Purchase this modest novella, and prepare to read it in one sitting, most probably as I did: casting nervous glances around the room while trying to maintain my position on the edge of the seat.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "ESSENTIAL SCI-FI READING" May 18, 2009
Format:Paperback
John W. Campbell's classic tale of isolation and paranoia is the literary equivalent of 50 year old scotch (in this case, 70 years.) It just keeps getting better with age. If your only familiarity with this story is the cinematic adaptations, this your big chance. From the first paragraph, Campbell establishes a sense of foreboding and crushing claustrophobia that just doesn't translate to film. As a bonus, you get William F. Nolan's 1978 screen treatment. I thought it had a quirky 70's vibe. Sort of, Philip Kaufman's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" meets Disney's "Escape to Witch Mountain."

A quick note on the cover art. Too much of today's science fiction is jacketed in cluttered, over painted, or just repetitive imagery. However, Rocket Ride Books took the high road with a restrained, well balanced, but still eye-catching cover piece that captures the essence of the story. In fact, they've done an all together first rate job with this re-issue. I look forward to whatever they have planned next.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Stories by a Grandmaster August 6, 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This collection is a superior value. It contains not only Campbell's superb novella of sci/fi terror (Who Goes There?) but six other stories! All in a quality hardback! John W. Campbell, Jr. was one of the great science fiction writers in history. His approach to his craft in his all too brief career as a writer, and his long career as an editor (his employer would not allow him to both write and edit, so when he started as an editor he quit writing) were of incalculable influence. Many of sci/fi's greatest honed their craft at his feet. Unfortunately (indeed the word is disgracefully) very little of Campbell's work remains in print. Happily, Buccaneer Books has published this excellent collection. It opens with an interesting forward by Campbell himself. It contains the novella "Who Goes There?", and the stories "Blindness", "Frictional Losses", "Dead Knowledge", "Elimination", "Twilight", and "Night." 230 pages all told, nicely hardbound in blue cloth, and well worth your time and money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story
Who Goes There? Review

John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” is a science fiction novella first published in 1938. Read more
Published 8 days ago by A.Z. Banda
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic that Looms Large in Science Fiction Horror
Originally published by John W. Campbell as a novella in the August 1938 edition of the magazine Astounding Science-Fiction under the pen name Don A. Stuart, “Who Goes There? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I watched the movie before reading the actual novel. The story is better than the movie. A worthy reading after all.
Published 1 month ago by Jin chen
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
What a great story. This was a real pleasure to read, and sad to say but it's better than the 3 movies that were created. I wish he wrote more. Read more
Published 1 month ago by gerald bedsole
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense!
Now THAT was a good, tense read. It's rare a book gets my heart pounding. If you liked the movie this is a must-read. It answers so many questions.
Published 1 month ago by M. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book!
Loved the movie and the book that was the inspiration is even better. I recommend it to anyone who liked the movie.
Published 2 months ago by kevin l harding
4.0 out of 5 stars For an old story , pretty darn good.
I had seen both versions of the movie, and decided I should read the book it was based on. This was a very enjoyable book. Moved pretty fast, this is a quick read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frank A Mastromauro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Even though it's relatively short (a novella,) it's really engaging. The author does a good job of telling a story of justified paranoia in a completely isolated environment, with... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rick
5.0 out of 5 stars Where it all began
I grew up watching the old black and white movie version of The Thing with James Arness on TV. Then, I watched the remake years later. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Klein
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Okay
There were far too many characters to keep track of in such a short story, so frequently the characters would blur together. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nicole Chiodo
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