By Bob Hicks
About the time the icebergs started breaking off I realized that Out of the Deeps, John Wyndham‘s 1953 speculative-fiction thriller, was heading into some pretty interesting territory. The suspicion had been rising for some time that this was no ordinary, dated genre toss-off. But when I picked it up I’d had no idea it anticipated the global warming controversy by a full 50 years.
I did have an idea it’d be an interesting read, at the least from a historical and sociological perspective. Wyndham (full name John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, born 1903, died 1969) was also the author of a novel called The Day of the Triffids, which I had never read but recalled vaguely as a pleasingly scary movie about an invasion of malevolent creatures from outer space. I happened upon Triffids on a shelf at Powell’s in a recent “rediscovered” edition, all tricked out in fresh literary wrap suggesting that someone at a publishing house somewhere thought it was worth a more serious look. It was selling for 16 bucks, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to put that much down for a gamble on an author I’d never read from a dubious pulp-genre background. But next to it was a used copy of Out of the Deeps for $2.50, and that, I decided, was worth the risk.