Who Goes There? A Book Review

Who Goes There? is a science fiction novel by John W. Campbell, Jr., writing under the pen name Don A. Stuart. It was first published in the August 1938 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.

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Who Goes There?- A Book Review

It is the story of an Antarctic research station that is besieged by a shape-changing alien entity that could be any one of them. I found it to be a very suspenseful book, full of surprises. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery.

The Book’s Background

“Who Goes There?” is a science fiction novella by John W. Campbell, Jr., written under the pen name Don A. Stuart. It was first published in the August 1938 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and has been reprinted a number of times, both alone and as part of anthologies. The story was the basis for the movies The Thing from Another World (1951), John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), and the prequel to Carpenter’s movie, also titled The Thing (2011).

“Who Goes There?” is set in Antarctica, where a group of scientists find and thaw out a body that turns out to be an alien. The alien takes over the bodies of some of the people in the group, and they must figure out who is human and who is alien before it’s too late.

The novella has been praised for its suspenseful plot and its characters’ psychological depth. It is also one of the earliest examples of a paranoia story in science fiction.

The Book’s Plot

The novel, Who Goes There?, is about a group of men in Antarctica who find an alien creature that can take on the appearance of any living thing. The men are forced to kill the creature, but it is not dead. It takes on the appearance of one of the men and starts killing the others one by one. The only way to stop it is to find out which one of them is the creature.

The Book’s Characters

The book’s characters are well-developed and believable. The protagonist, John Carr, is a sympathetic figure who is haunted by his past. The other protagonists, Dr. Dan Challis and Ellie Crisp, are also well-developed and believable. The antagonists, the aliens, are also well-developed and believable.

The Book’s Writing Style

The book is written in a very straightforward style, which makes it easy to follow. There are no complicated sentence structures or vocabulary words, which makes it perfect for people who are new to the thriller genre.

The Book’s Themes

The book is set in the year 2054 and follows the story of a group of soldiers who are sent to investigate a research facility on Mars that has been investigating a possible alien presence on the planet. The soldiers are stationed at the facility for six months, during which time they experience several strange and dangerous events. The book’s themes include the dangers of exploration, the nature of fear, and the challenges of living in close quarters with other people.

The Book’s Reception

The book was dropped by a number of publishers before it was finally released by Arkham House, a publisher specializing in horror and weird fiction, in 1938. It was not commercially successful. Critics panned it, with many dismissing it as a pale imitation of Lovecraft’s work. Some readers responded negatively to the author’s attempts to distance himself from Lovecraft’s style, while others felt that the story did not live up to its potential. Even those who enjoyed the book generally agreed that it was not one of Derleth’s best works.

Comparisons to Other Works

Comparing this book to other works in the genre is difficult, as it is so unique. However, there are some commonalities that can be drawn. For example, like many other horror novels, “Who Goes There?” Is set in a remote location. In this case, it is an Antarctic research station which is cut off from the rest of the world. This creates a sense of isolation and makes it easier for the reader to suspend their disbelief when things start to go wrong.

The Legacy of Who Goes There?

Who Goes There?, by John W. Campbell, Jr., is a science fiction novel originally published in 1938. The story follows a group of scientists who are isolated in Antarctica and come into contact with an alien entity that takes over their bodies and attempts to infiltrate the outside world. The novel has been cited as an influence on many subsequent works, including the 1951 film The Thing from Another World, the 1982 film The Thing, and the 2011 television series Falling Skies. Who Goes There? is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of body horror, a subgenre of horror that focuses on the fear of losing control of one’s own body.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about the idea of otherworldly creatures visiting our planet, here are some other books you might enjoy:

-The Watchers by Jaye Roberts
-Strangers by Dean Koontz
-Nightworld by F. Paul Wilson

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