Author(s): John Wyndham
It started with fireballs raining down from the sky and crashing into the oceans' deeps. Then ships began sinking mysteriously and later 'sea tanks' emerged from the deeps to claim people. For journalists Mike and Phyllis Watson, what at first appears to be a curiosity becomes a global calamity. Helpless, they watch as humanity struggles to survive now that water - one of the compounds upon which life depends - is turned against them. Finally, sea levels begin their inexorable rise. "The Kraken Wakes" is a brilliant novel of how humankind responds to the threat of its own extinction and, ultimately, asks what we are prepared to do in order to survive.
Ingenious, horrifying Guardian
John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Benyon Harris was born in 1903, the son of a barrister. He tried a number of careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, and started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. From 1930 to 1939 he wrote short stories of various kinds under different names, almost exclusively for American publications, while also writing detective novels. During the war he was in the Civil Service and then the Army. In 1946 he went back to writing stories for publication in the USA and decided to try a modified form of science fiction, a form he called 'logical fantasy'. As John Wyndham he wrote The Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned), The Seeds of Time, Trouble with Lichen, The Outward Urge, Consider Her Ways and Others, Web and Chocky. John Wyndham died in March 1969.