Who Goes There?, the novella that formed the basis of the film The Thing, is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient body of a crash-landed alien.
©1966 John W. Campbell (P)2009 Rocket Ride Books
“John W. Campbell is the most powerful force in science fiction ever.” (Isaac Asimov)
"One of the finest science fiction novellas ever written." (Science Fiction Writers of America)
The plot is quite simple: a scientific expedition isolated in Antarctica discovers a long-frozen alien ship, and a long-frozen alien corpse...
"Who Goes There?" is one of the top science-fiction novellas ever published. Well written, carefully thought out plot, (mostly) realistic characters and setting. Although the plot revolves around alien monsters, the interplay of the human characters makes the story very real and very well-balanced.
In addition to being a great story in itself, many of the themes and concepts have crept into many places in sci-fi and horror. The 1950's movie, "The Thing," and John Carpenter's later remake, are (loosely) based on "Who Goes There?".
William F. Nolan's narration is good, if a little slowly-paced. He is hampered by the fact that there are about a dozen speaking characters (all men), and making them all sound distinct is rough. I think a professional narrator might have done a better job, but Nolan's narration is more than acceptable.
The audiobook edition opens with a 6-or-7 minute introduction written by the narrator which provides background on Campbell, the story and "The Thing." Useful, but longer than needed.
I was so glad to see this wonderful story finally available in audio. An intelligent, frightening, and engaging tale of the discovery of an E.T. frozen in the arctic. And, of course, the "thing" is neither completely dead nor very friendly ... A pioneering early SF story that has been imitated many times but is a refreshing listen in its original form, especially with a wonderful narration by Steve Cooper. Bravo, Audible, for bringing this to audio!!!
This is a great preamble for those who have not watched The Thing or The Thing From Another World. Or those who have to give you greater insight. It's amazing how this story is so ahead of its time and how it still holds one enthralled. A great, tight little SF thriller that will hold your interest until the end. Highly recommended!
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
This is a classic and is recommended by "Must Read 501, Sci Fi" This was written in 1938 and you should keep that in mind when reading it. I believe three movies have been made from this Novella. This is about an alien ship that lands on earth before man even exists. The ship gets buried in Antarctica. Each and every cell in the alien body is an entity in itself and can duplicate other living beings. If one cell escapes and gets into our population then it will take over the world. The whole concept of this story is just so freaking cool.
This is a classic story done several times in the film format, and not always successfully.
I found it funny that the intro criticizes Carpenter's screen play, because the things that Carpenter elaborated on (not really changed) were things I felt were missing from the story or didn't quite make sense as far as reactions and timing. Who watches Popeye during a crisis or lets a murderer get off with a slap on the wrist and a 'just don't kill anyone else, ok?" And while, yes...the Carpenter version is a bit gory, the novel version never really 'GOES THERE' if you catch my drift. Characters will walk into a room and say something like "It's messy when they melt." as though they are talking about the snow on their boots....so, Carpenter is head and shoulders above the novel for bringing this original horrific idea to life. Also, his beginning and end are pure genius compared to the novel.
If you are a horror fan, you must of course add this to your 'read' pile - it's well worth it. If you are gonna to watch a film version, stick with the John Carpenter/Kurt Russell vehicle - it's also a classic. And once you read the book, do watch the film - it's great fun, with many a classic line. My absolute favorite, which makes me burst into uncomfortable, stress reliving laughter, every single time, being....
..."I know you gentleman have been through a lot....but when you find the time....I'd rather not spend the rest of the winter...TIED TO THIS F**K**G CHAIR!!!"
It's just done so much better and more sensibly done than the novel! lol.
While I never read the print version, I am familiar with Carpenter's movie, The Thing, which was based on this story. The is plenty of intrigue and exploring human nature while put in extreme conditions.
The book was well produced and narrated. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it has been longer with the plot more developed. It would be interesting to see how a modern accomplished science fiction writer would rework the story, not unlike Fuzzy Nation.
Beautifully imaginative story about Antarctic scientists discovering a strange creature trapped in the ice and the terror and paranoia that unfold as the monster kills and replaces them with perfect mimics. While I've seen the John Carpenter movie version many times, I know better than to believe a movie is anything like the source material. I was very happy to see that Carpenter did a wonderful job staying true to the novella.
Who Goes There? is a brilliant story, but it's not perfect in the execution. Much of that has to do with the writing style of the time. Most of it is people talking...and talking...then something happens, but you don't get to see it, so they talk about that.
One thing I really enjoyed was the time-capsule quality. This is a piece that was written in the 1930's about the 1930's, so all of the details about steam-powered tractors to cross the ice and the fishy smell of whale-fat lamps are fun historical nuggets of a bygone time.
Narrator Steve Cooper did a very good job reading it, giving distinct voices to each of the cast (which was useful since there was A LOT of talking)
. . .today is the first day of . . .
As kids, my sister's and I would sit up late and watch every vampire, werewolf, and zombie type movie ever made. As adults, those movies don't look so scary now, but, boy back then I felt chills the first time I saw James Arness as "The Thing" - it gave me nightmares.
This novella is sooo good. The narration is excellent and brings all characters to life- I enjoyed this story just as much as the movie version by Carpenter, and much more than the remake.
For good old fashioned chilling suspense, this is the one to get. Suggest listening in bed with the lights out for the full effect.
I love the movie so this story had a high standard with me but I did enjoy Steve Cooper. His voice fits the story well: strong, assertive. Worth the listen.
Id just make it longer and a little more action packed.
No but I will check some more from him after this. He was a really good performer and he pulled you in.
While I did enjoy the story, I found it to be quite slow going. It was tense but I wanted more from it. It was a very short and quick read and overall, quite enjoyable.
"I like the story very much but..."
I really love this story. For the time period it was written it's pretty out there. Narration is good and in keeping with the style. That being said... The John Carpenter film version pips the original to the post. I'd recommend listening to this first though.
Report Inappropriate Content