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The Seeds of Time by John Wyndham
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The Seeds of Time

by John Wyndham

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Some interesting Welles-like time travel and Clarke-like space travel stories, rather jarringly pervaded by Wyndham's sexism and the attitudes of the time. Pleasant enough. ( )
  adzebill | Apr 29, 2017 |
Great read

Short stories

Loved
Meteor and Opposite Number in particular

Big ship
27 June 2016 ( )
  bigship | Jun 27, 2016 |
Whereas Wyndham may now be best remembered for his novel Day of the Triffids clearly his strenghth as a story teller lay in the short story rather than the novel. These stories, the longest of which is thirty pages, each of which starts on the notion of "what if..." are delightfully entertaining, thrilling or disturbing depending on the tone of the particular story.

CHRONOCLASM: It's the story of a man faced with sudden knowledge of the immediate and distant future and his willing participation (for good and bad) to see the future play out as it has been described to him. Though the threat of a temporal paradox is presented, the story ends up playing out as if paradoxes cannot come into being leaving the reader to ponder if man really has as much free will as he thinks he does.

TIME TO REST:
This is one of three stories themed around Mars. Here the Martians are native humanoids, tall, graceful and cultured. The main character is an expatriot Earthman living the sort of life one of Hemingway's characters would have lived if he had written science fiction. It's really just a lovely mood piece.

METEOR:
Meteor plays on the notions of perception and assumption as it follows the disasterous attempt of a slow ship to colonize a far away world.

SURVIVAL:
Survival is the closest these stories get to pure horror. It has all of the classic themes of man's inhumanity to man and monster within that is released when one's existence is threatened. It is the second story that features Mars but here Mars is an unattainable goal.

PAWLEY'S PEEPHOLES:
This story is another time travel piece but is much more lighthearted than Chronoclasm. What would happen if people from the future decided to turn the past into one giant theme park? How would the citizens of the past react?

OPPOSITE NUMBER
Here's another take on time travel. This story works around the idea of different futures arising from different outcomes to decisions. Can true love sort things out when fates goes horribly pear shaped?

PILLAR TO POST
Wyndham's writing here reminded me most of H.G. Wells's social comentary science fiction, espcially that of The Time Machine. Here a man gets a brief chance to live in the future when he is mistakenly transmitted into a distant future. Although the future society is no Eutopia it is better than his life in the past. How hard will he fight to keep his future life and do they really want him in the future?

DUMB MARTIAN
If the woman in this story weren't a Martian (and I think she was a human but of a multi-generation Martian lineage), the story would just be a cautionary tale against domestic abuse.

COMPASSION CIRCUIT
There are a couple classic Twilight Zone episodes that are similar to this story of man and machine and man becoming machine. It's not particularly unique or clever but still chilling.

WILD FLOWER
The last story of the group is by far the weakest. The book ends on a whimper. Just sing Where Have All the Flowers Gone and leave it at that. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 2, 2014 |
An interesting collection of short stories from a classic sci-fi author. As with many collections of short stories there's some wheat and some chaff in the ideas department, but John Wyndham's writing style is consistently clean and easy to read. There's a 1940s/50s feel to some of the stories (probably because they were written back then!) that you can tell were written before or just at the start of space flight and planetary exploration (eg Martian native women). The parallel universe and personality transplantation stories are very good - the sort of thing that you could imagine being expanded on and turned in Hollywood blockbusters.

Worth adding to a holiday or train journey reading list to dip quickly in and out of. ( )
  jimll | Jul 30, 2014 |
Well. I have a copy of a Dutch book that is called Science Fiction stories.
My book consists of:
*Dumb Martian
*Time To rest
*Meteor
*Survival
*Pawley's Peepholes
*Pillar to Post
*Compassion.

Then there are 2 stories of Consider her Ways & Others
*Stitch in Time
*Random Guest

I've read this book decades ago. Back in the day when I only read Dutch books, I loved to read short stories and I still own a few Dutch Horror collections. This is one of them, although not really horror but more SF.

What I do know is that I really liked this book.

Now I am re reading and the first story was Dumb martian which was great.

  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Wyndhamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Griffiths, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lord, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willock, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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