John Wyndham's "The Day of the Triffids" is one of the classics in post-apocalyptic literature, and I finally got around to reading it this week. Written in the early 1950's and set in England, the book ages well.
This is written as a personal journal by a survivor who writes a few years after the first scene. The background is that, either through some kind of alien invasion or bio-engineering gone wrong, spores of a new species of plant called a triffid are released. Within a few years, this plant has spread worldwide, largely due to intentional cultivation since triffids have lots of naturally valuable side products that come from harvesting them.
Triffids also seem intelligent and sometimes hostile. The grow to man-sized or larger, are mobile (but can't see), instinctively intelligent, and they sport a poison lash with a range of a dozen feet or more that has great aim for the head. They also make a clicking noise that almost sounds like communication.
Once they become widespread, the Earth encounters some sort of comet (or maybe a satellite bombing) that makes about 99% of people blind. Amid the widespread panic, the few sighted people try to find one another and figure out the future, and the triffids begin systematically attacking humans.
Most of the story involves the diarist, a man named Bill, as he moves from one situation to another, trying to find a group, getting separated from a group, trying to survive by scavenging for necessities in deserted cities and fighting off swarms of hostile triffids.
It wasn't great, but I'm sure for its time, it was quite a startling novel. Definitely worth checking into if you like this genre.Posted by Observer at September 10, 2006 09:10 AM
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