The Chrysalids

By John Wyndham; Christopher Priest (Introduction by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590172926, 199pp.)

Publication Date: November 18, 2008

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Description
"The Chyrsalids "is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God's creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction--unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work. David grows up ringed by admonitions: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD; WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT.
At first he does not question. Then, however, he realizes that the he too is out of the ordinary, in possession of a power that could doom him to death or introduce h im to a new, hitherto unimagined world of freedom.
"The Chrysalids" is a perfectly conceived and constructed work form the classic era o science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the cold war.



About the Author
John Wyndham (1903 1969) began writing and selling short stories in 1925 to periodicals, under a wide array of pseudonyms. After spending the Second World War in the English civil service and later the British Army, he began experimenting with the idea of speculative fiction, a new kind of science fiction which he employed in two of his most successful novels, "The Day of the Triffids" and "The Chrysalids".

Christopher Priest is the author of ten novels and two collections of short stories, including the prize-winning THE GLAMOUR and THE PRESTIGE which won the James Tait Black award in 1995. He lives in Hastings with his wife and twin children.
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