Saturday, May 30, 2015

Who Goes There by John W. Campbell Jr.

From the moment I commenced reading this story, memories of another story stirred around in my brain.
Men living on a base in Antarctica and a being so evil that it can duplicate itself into any existing living cell structures.
Voila, I knew it appeared similar to the movie called The Thing, which is a terrifyingly wonderful movie starring Kurt Russel. In fact, the movie's based on the book.

Who Goes There was published in 1938. That boggles the mind to understand the mind of the man who had the intelligence to write such a brilliant book. Reading it today, I felt the concepts were way before their time in the same manner of Jules Verne or H. G. Wells. The story showed such insight that a movie made fifty years later would thrill audiences with anxiety filled horror.

Even though I liked the book, this is one of those instances where the film is superior. The book had several of the same elements, yet the movie took those elements to a higher playing field and added a fresh new story line causing more terror filled moments.

To be stuck in Antarctica with the "being" on the loose would be terrifying, and never knowing if a friend is still a human, would be agonizing. Plus they're in Antarctica with no place to run. The weather outside shows 40 below--until aid arrives, there's no place to hide.
There's also the added fear of spreading the evil off the base and into the world.

I still feel that feeling of wonderful creepiness rolling off my shoulders.