I bought this book mainly being a Wyndham collector, and this comes with two other stories from writers I hadn't read before (Williamson and Leinster). The idea was to print three stories previously printed in old 1930's Science Fiction magazines, which all focussed on people's pure reactions of amazement and wonder when confronted with such out of this world deviations.
"Exiles on Asperus" began like a lot of his books have for me, making me fall asleep for some reason and doubting where the story was going and unable to grasp the characters adventures in the strange place their space craft found itself on. But as it went on, as usual, he puts things in such a way to make you think about human nature. The horrendously evil-sounding Battrach creatures come across as a race to detest, with their capture of hundreds of humans as slaves, and convincing the children that "outside" was what was evil. Through harsh tricks associating the outside world not in their trapped underground as being nauseating, when our heroes on Asperus do get permission to release the children slaves, they can't believe why they'd go.
The concept of freedom comes up throughout because our heroes can't fathom why these battrach creatures think living with their own kind is actually being free.
"The Mole Pirate" by Murray Leinster didn't do much for me, and I found that halfway through, when noticing a few too many spelling errors, that I'd had enough. It confused me but it may appeal to most other lovers of this subgenre of emotional science fiction.
"The Moon Era" by Murray Leinster I must say is almost as good, if not better than Wyndham's contribution. It's about a guy who agrees to being a guinea pig for his uncle's latest spaceship design. He flies to the moon, being the first human to do so. While adventuring around the moon environment he realises there are living things, albeit huge purple balloon like objects with tentacles and other alien features. He befriends a creature known as The Mother who is on the run from a group of creatures called The Eternal Ones. The Mother's race died out because they refused to become machines, and massive machines were in pursuit of her to make the moon purely machine-driven. The Mother is able to give our adventurer the physical abilities strenth-wise to live in the moon's atmosphere, fighting and running his way with her back to his space ship.
Worth grabbing for sure as I hadn't seen it around much.
Tags: download, john wyndham, ebook, pdf, a sense of wonder
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