May 25Liked by Evan Þ

The first Wyndham I read was Re-Birth (the title it appeared under in Anthony Boucher's A Treasury of Great Science Fiction). It shows a group of telepathic children/adolescents growing up in a fundamentalist society that regards mutations as offenses against God. Near the end, they are rescued by a party from New Zealand, where everyone is telepathic, and one of their rescuers says, "In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our rise. In loyalty to our kind, we cannot tolerate their obstruction." (Jefferson Airplane paraphrased this line in their song "Crown of Creation," changing "rise" to "minds.") So it appears that Wyndham characteristically thinks in terms of species as discrete and hostile entities, even when they are not actually species by the biological definition; that is, in terms of racial or biological collectivism. This suggests that the fundamentalists of his future Labrador are actually right, even though he encourages the reader to sympathize with the telepathic children instead.

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I'd read that story a long time ago, but I'd forgotten that one line. Yes, that's telling. And, it lines up with his repeated point in "The Day of the Triffids" about how humans (as a discrete entity) have dominated every other form of life in the world.

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