Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
"One of the finest science fiction novellas ever written." --Science Fiction Writers of America
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"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.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Was this review helpful to you?