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The Outward Urge

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  283 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The Outward Urge is a sf novel by John Wyndham which is a collection of linked short stories, originally published in four issues of the magazine "New Worlds Science Fiction". The collection was originally published with those four chapters in 1959. A 5th chapter was included in later versions. It was originally published in the November 1960 issue of New Wolds as a separa ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 187 pages
Published 1981 by Penguin Books (first published 1959)
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Mar 15, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For as long as man has existed, there have been those with an inner need to explore. Almost a genetic predisposition, some men are driven to see what is Out There, whether it's across the sea, or to the stars. This is the story of four generations of one family, the Troon family.

In 1994, George Montgomery "Ticker" Troon is part of the group secretly building the world's first space station. One day, a missile shows up, probably from the Soviets, that could easily destroy the station and kill a l
Ian Banks

Not indicative of the wider Wyndham canon but probably the most ambitious in scope of all his books. It's the story of 200 years in the lives of a spacefaring family at the awkward birth of a future history spanning the inner solar system.

While I'm not a fan of stories that feature families that are just so damned amazing that they dominate a society for generations, this is an interesting tale that posits that some members of this family were present at key junctures in history that are conveni

Nov 29, 2016 Jon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Basic space opera. The naming of a co-author (Lucas Parkes) is a bit of a mystery, since Lucas Parkes WAS John Wyndham!
Layla (Reading Shoes Blog)
I have never made a secret of my love of John Wyndham. He lured me into the world of science fiction, a genre I had previously avoided with unjustified prejudice. I always love his narrative voice and measured tone, his imagination, his characters, and his compelling future-based stories. I particularly loved The Chrysalids and the Midwich Cuckoos, but to be honest I’ve enjoyed all of them. So when I tracked down the out-of-print The Outward Urge, I leapt upon it.

To be honest, after all that exc
Apr 17, 2016 Marina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
…Я слышал, как звезду звала
Ее далекая сестра
Полночным писком комара.

Что вы испытали, прочитав эти три строки? Не почувствовали ничего? Или вспомнили как сидели в два часа ночи на даче и смотрели в ночное звездное небо, так сильно боясь провалиться в него, улетев на этот самый беззвучный, но такой громкий, такой понятный и такой прекрасный зов космоса? Наверное, такое звук взывал и Колумба, и Магеллана, и всех других путешественников, чьи имена канули в лету. Хочется так думать, а не понимать, чт
Dan Quigley
This work appears to collect four short stories, probably written in the 1930s or 1940s judging by the inferiority of the quality of the writing to John Wyndham's 1950s work. It cadges together the four stories in odd fashion as chapters in an effort to be one novel. It nevertheless feels more like reading four distinct short stories.

The story traces the Troon family from one generation to the next, and in all but the last chapter focuses on how the lead character dies while exploring space. The
May 26, 2009 Charlotte rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

Written during the Cold War, prior to the first successful lunar landings, this is the history of successive generations of the Troon family to leave the planet and conquer space. The story, or collection of stories, covers the time from Second World War flight to first landings on Venus in the 22nd century. The primary theme is the "outward urge": the desire for exploration. However, the main sub-theme of war and how this affects this urge is dominant throughout. This book has clearly dated in
Gregg Chamberlain
Jan 14, 2016 Gregg Chamberlain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Wyndham offers up a different view of the early exploration of space from the POV of the Troon family, whose members all seem driven by "an outward urge" to always be on the move. The Troon behaviour pattern results in several members playing key roles in the development and exploration of inter-planetary space. Now, granted, the text may be a bit dated, especially concerning the description of Venus, but the stories themselves stand up well, especially the political-economic imperative bac ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Delightful. Each story sketched out characters, events, and motivations with a scarcity of strokes but an impressive amount of depth. I love reading Wyndham's work, because he reminds me that this is what a gifted writer can do.
The only part that didn't work for me was the last story - I wasn't sure it rounded out the bunch but rather left an end dangling. Maybe that was deliberate, but it keeps the set of stories from a 5 star review.
Erik Graff
Nov 14, 2011 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wyndham fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, aka John Wyndam and Lucas Parkes, is normally a safe bet in the genre of science fiction, being author of The Day of the Triffids ('51) and The Midwich Cuckoos ('57) both of which had seen several movie remakes. This dated future history of the Earth and of space travel is an exception.
Oct 05, 2015 Joshua rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
unlike his earlier novels, this one is "hard" SF. unlike his earlier novels, this one is boring. credited to wyndham and parkes, supposedly at his (both are aliases for the same person) editor's insistence. maybe so that wyndham's fans could blame parkes for the boring bits (i.e. most of the book)?
Feb 05, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a science-fiction fan yet I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a collection of four interconnected stories on space travel and although they might feel dated, the characters and the theme of war feel universal.
Timothy Keable
Very interesting exploration of Man's expansion into Space. War seems to be the underlying motivation in this book.
Samantha Drury Shore
Samantha Drury Shore rated it really liked it
Dec 20, 2013
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Chris rated it it was ok
Jul 15, 2008
Andrea Lorenzini
Andrea Lorenzini rated it it was ok
Aug 30, 2016
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Sep 14, 2013
Joey Hoskings
Joey Hoskings rated it it was amazing
Dec 12, 2014
Andrew Lee
Andrew Lee rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2015
Wrandom rated it liked it
Jul 28, 2015
Sam Robinson
Sam Robinson rated it liked it
May 17, 2014
Tim Poston
Tim Poston rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2014
Iain McIntyre
Iain McIntyre rated it liked it
Nov 10, 2016
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Nov 16, 2014
Beth rated it it was ok
Apr 25, 2014
David rated it liked it
Apr 30, 2011
Kevin rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2012
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John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris was the son of a barrister. After trying a number of careers, including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, he started writing short stories in 1925. After serving in the civil Service and the Army during the war, he went back to writing. Adopting the name John Wyndham, he started writing a form of science fiction that he called 'logical fantasy'. ...more
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