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4 October 2012

Who Goes There? (1938)

Given the small size of my latest read, it’s surprising how long it's taken me to get through it. Who Goes There? is a novella by John W Campbell Jr and was the story that inspired John Carpenter’s The Thing. Aha! I mentioned that I might get hold of this quite recently... and I've only gone and done it!

Who Goes There?

The story is set in the antarctic and if you've watched the film then there are few surprises in store for you in this read. Scientists have discovered a beast in the ice. One half of the group want to thaw it out to study it. The other half think this is a foolish idea and want to leave it frozen. Who do you think is right? Yep - right first time! What do you think they decide to do? Yep... right again! Wow... you're good!

What have we here then?

The beast terrifies all who see it, but little do the poor unfortunate scientists realise that there is worse in store. Oh dear. Once thawed, the beast reanimates and it has a party trick that catches everyone off guard; I won’t tell you what it is (as if you didn't already know!). Suffice to say, the scientists must use every ounce of their shared knowledge to combat the crafty alien invader. Can human guile win the day? You’ll just have to read this book to find out.

John W Campbell Jr.

It’s a well written story. I think Campbell was 28 when he penned it and it has a certain maturity to the writing. The film adaptation by John Carpenter was based upon a screenplay by Bill Lancaster (Burt's son) and he remained pretty true to the original. There were times where I was reading Who Goes There? and in my mind's eye I was seeing the film. If I was a less generous character I might have accused Lancaster of being lazy in his adaptation, but actually I think that the fact he could and did take so much from the original really is a testament to Campbell’s fantastic vision and how well he managed to get it right first time. This is a classic... because I say it is...

I don’t have too much more to tell you in all truthfulness, so let’s stop here.

On the Triple-B, I’m pretty certain that 7 of us are aliens. What I’m not sure about is whether one of them is me. BUY!


  1. King,this is a bit off topic,and maybe literally if you view this clip.
    But have you seen the film "RoboGeisha"?
    I was reading Marc Fennell's book "That Movie Book" and he recommended it in his
    "Interfacing With Cyborgs"
    chapter.I've got to say that it intrigues me the same way the
    "Tokyo Zombie" movie does.
    If you haven't seen it
    (although I'll bet my bottom dollar that you have) here's the trailer link -

    Be warned though there is a scene of one weird chick who seems to be squeezing a tomato beneath her underwear for some
    unknown reason.-)

  2. I know of this film, but no, I haven't seen it! I'm going to try and get hold of a copy and I'll do a review for you. You know me... I'm definitely up for some crazy Japanese fun... even if it does involve tomato squeezing. I won't watch the trailer though... I like to come into films cold. Leave this with me...

  3. Bought! Just a matter of time...

  4. I can't wait for your review since it doesn't even have a tomato score at rotten tomatoes.
    You think it would with that butt squishing tomato(e) scene.-)