John Wyndham is by right considered a leading British science-fiction writer of our day. Born in 1903, he tried various careers including farming, law, commercial art, and advertising, and he first started writing short stories in 1925. From 1930 to 1939 he wrote stories of various kinds under different names, published mostly in the USA. He also wrote detective novels. During the war he was in the Civil Service and afterwards in the Army. In 1946 he went back to writing stories and decided to try a modified form of what is known as science fiction. He wrote The Day of Triffids, translated into many languages, including Russian. It is a fantastic, frightening, but entirely plausable story of the future when the world is dominated by triffids, grotesque and dangerous plants over seven feet tall. This was followed by The Kraken Waves, a book telling of the awakening and rise to power of forces of cruelly terrifying consequence from beneath the surface of the sea. Next came The Crysalids, a thrilling and realistic account of the world beset by genetic mutations, The Seeds of Time, a collection of short stories acknowledged by their author as 'experiments in adapting the SF motif to various styles of short story', and The Midwich Cuckoos, believed to be Wyndham's most disturbing story set in a quiet little English village. Then appeared The Trouble with Lichen.
Chocky is the last book written by J. Wyndham, who died in 1969. It was also translated into Russian a few years ago. Here the author is not concerned with the panoramic views of world destruction, like, for instance, in The Day of the Triffids. The stage is small, the cast are few, the setting is familiar -- yet, into the most uneventual lives, the unexpected can disquietingly intrude.
Once you begin listening you start living with the Gores - a plain middle class English family of our days. But then the unexpected happens: a new and seemingly fantastic element appears within the Gores. Now you see adults rear and hostility towards things not fully understood and difficult to cope with. The situation goes out of the Gores' control and a group of people intrudes whose basic motive is their own profit,
Broadcast on BBC7 Sat 03 Nov - 12:00
Twelve-year-old Matthew starts talking to Chocky. Is she a fantasy friend or an alien life force? By John Wyndham.