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Kiln People
Beth Meacham, David Brin

The Midwich Cuckoos

The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham John Wyndham's books are often described, labeled or tagged as cozy catastrophe, I am not sure what that means as the two books* I have read so far of his are rather unsettling. My guess is the Englishness of his prose style and the politeness of his characters. As something of an anglophile I very much appreciate this style of writing, it is very comforting and old school, especially with a nice cuppa tea in my hand. The only serious problem with this book is that the plot is so well known. It was filmed a couple of times as Village of the Damned, adapted for radio plays and is required reading in many schools. If you really really have no idea what this book is about here is my ridiculously simplified synopsis:

The women in an English village are implanted with alien babies while the entire village is put to sleep for a few days. The babies grow into hive mind children with mental powers.

These days the hive mind idea is old hat to sci-fi fans, with Star Trek TNG's The Borg, and Doctor Who's Cybermen being the most famous examples (as far as I know). In sf literature beside The Midwich Cuckoos Theodore Sturgeon's classic [b:More Than Human|541024|More Than Human|Theodore Sturgeon|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403192694s/541024.jpg|988613] is probably the best known. The main difference is that the Sturgeon's book concerns a small group of homo gestalt people who operate as one being but are also non-homogeneous individuals. In any case you are not likely to have your mind blown by this book.

The book was published in 1957, in those days they tell stories with such economy, a lot of story is packed into about 250 pages. The drawback is that there is little room for character development, so the polite inhabitants of this book tend to be somewhat two dimensional. As mentioned earlier I was already well aware of the plot from the movie versions so there is no surprise in store for me but I still find the book worth reading and immersive. If you are unfamiliar with the story when you read this fine sf classic I envy you.


* The other one being [b:The Day of the Triffids|530965|The Day of the Triffids|John Wyndham|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320530145s/530965.jpg|188517] - also a must read classic