Review – The Day of the Triffids – audio

The Day of the Triffids – Audible UK

I’d forgotten what a great book this is, and the radio adaptation was splendid. This post-apocalyptic tale of plants, the destruction of civilisation and the human spirit is told in a series of episodes. The cast was well-chosen – and I especially liked the lady playing Josella. There is a good deal of suspense and fear. As civilisation rapidly crumbles the hero (Masen) questions everything.

The book – although written in the 1950s this tale is also (as they so often are) a tale for today. Genetically modified plants – the titular Triffids – are bred from an assortment of other plants (and it hints not just plants) and produce oil which surpasses other types of oil. Of course, humans need this oil and merrily breed these plants – which not only are rather aggressive but also mobile. When a comet (is it a comet or something brought about by the Triffids?) brings world blindness to anyone or anything who saw the impressive light show the triffids now have the advantage. They are tough, mobile, poisonous, aggressive, can communicate and are ruthless.

As with many of the sci-fi books written around that time, there is a good deal of classic horror – expect a body-count, and the majority of humans don’t come out so well. Civilisation is only a veneer – and as soon as the comforts and safety of it disappear the fighting, the looting, the backward steps start. Our heroes have to review their moral code. Decent folks who would not, under normal circumstances steal, or cause harm, are now looting, shooting and uprooting.

There are many facets – GM crops (as we would call them today), bio-warfare, the fall of civilisation and a good deal of survival of the fittest. But of course, the human spirit, and brain will find a way to survive.

It’s a great book and a great audio rendition.
5 stars

Swift Six Character Interview – Fairchild #Sci-fi #Bundle

Swift Six Character Interview

Character Name (Lady Danielle Cooper) Fairchild

Which book/world do you live in? Fairchild by Blaze Ward

Tell us about yourself:

I just want to fly, man. Nothing else. That adrenaline rush of free-jumping from 20,000 meters with nothing but a bodysuit and thermals, racing to capture a flag fifty kilometres away.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I suppose my greatest strength is that drive. It got me out of my father’s house, and out from under his thumb. If he cut me off, I have friends, and we’ll have far grander adventures than anyone sitting in a boring corporate boardroom.

Weakness? The darkness. It’s in me. Deep. Infecting my dreams and my days. Sometimes, it gets so close that ending it would only take a few ounces of pressure on a trigger.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

The Michigan State University Department of Planetology and Xeno-Geology. (Thanks for the ride and the t-shirt, Chike.)

My brother Rudy, who lets me borrow his vintage ground vehicles with internal combustion engines. And doesn’t bitch too much about my driving.

Eleanor, who was programmed to be my minder, and turned into my friend. I’ve alive because she never gave up on me.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Coming out the darkness on the other side. Not everyone has the will to do that. I’ve known too many friends spiral down into drink, or drugs, or darkness. It scares me that I might follow them.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

When are you going to write the next book, you bastard? I wanna go fly Fairchild’s Golden Eagle.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Buy the damned concert tickets and go see your favourite band before they’re all dead.

Links to book

Sci-Fi Bundle – July


Amazon dot com


Book Review – War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds – H G Wells 1898.

Wow! I am a fan of the musical version by Jeff Wayne but the original novel is amazing. What a masterpiece of science fiction!

Set in London at the end of the 19th Century there are a lot of themes, the possibility of life on other planets, the abandonment of humans by God, Imperialism, human supremacy, the fact that when the social norms fall humans often revert to more savage behaviour, attacking, each other to escape, even eating creatures they would not normally eat such as horses and dogs and even, it is implied, each other. There is also the theme of madness, the narrator finds his sanity challenged from the despair of what he has witnessed, the hopelessness of the situation and the loneliness and fear his wife has been killed.

Emotions start with curiosity and soon become outrage and then fear, despair and hopelessness then back to cautious relief. The atmosphere builds quickly and the ending is fantastic, although as a fan of the musical version was not unexpected.

This is a classic of the genre, and a must read. The social themes interviewed with a great story give a rich and read which cannot be put down.

5 stars with a extra star for awesomeness!