The Midwich Cuckoos

John Wyndham

$15.95 $17.00

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, introduction by Kelly Link, cover illustration by Anders Nilsen / ISBN 9780593450123 / 213-page paperback from Modern Library

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A genre-defining tale of first contact by one of the twentieth century’s most brilliant—and neglected—science fiction and horror writers, whom Stephen King called “the best writer of science fiction that England has ever produced.”

“In my opinion, [John] Wyndham’s chef d’oeuvre . . . a graphic metaphor for the fear of unwanted pregnancies . . . I myself had a dream about a highly intelligent nonhuman baby after reading this book.”—Margaret Atwood, Slate

What if the women of a sleepy English village all became simultaneously pregnant, and the children, once born, possessed supernatural—and possibly alien—powers?

A mysterious silver object appears in quiet, picture-perfect Midwich. A day later, the object is gone—and all the women in the village, they will come to learn, are now pregnant.

The resultant children of Midwich are shockingly, frighteningly other. Faced with these unfathomable and potentially unstoppable children, the question arises: What will humanity do when faced with the threat of the unknown?

John Wyndham (1903-1969) is considered a pioneer of science fiction and horror, though he preferred to think of himself as a “logical fantasist.” He began writing science fiction and detective stories in the 1920s, but shifted to science fiction post-WWII, focusing on themes of disaster, invasion, and first contact. His best known works include The Day of the Triffids (1951) and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957). A pacifist and socialist, Wyndham—unlike a lot of mid-century genre fiction authors—was alive to the impact of sexism, classism, and prejudice and his novels reflect his liberal politics.

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