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Who Goes There? and Other Stories

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  925 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
"Who Goes There?"
"Frictional Losses"
"Dead Knowledge"

Note: This is the 1948 collection. There is a separate entry if you have just the 1938 novella. Also published as 'The Thing and Other Stories'. 'The Thing from Another World' and 'The Thing from Outer Space'. All contained the seven short stories mentioned above.
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Buccaneer Books, Inc. (first published 1948)
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Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Wood Campbell (1910 – 1971) is best known as the editor of Analog Magazine from 1937 (as Astounding Magazine) until his death, although he was so important at that time that he is often credited as the shaper of the so-called ‘Golden Age of SF’, being the nurturer of Robert Heinlein, A.E. van Vogt, Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp and L. Ron Hubbard, as well as many other SF legends. Asimov, admittedly with a degree of bias, called Campbell “the most powerful force in science fiction” at th ...more
Robert Beveridge
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished, cle-pub-lib
John W. Campbell, Who Goes There? (Astounding, 1938)

A story which inspired a generation, and twice changed the face of filmmaking, reprinted in its original form after far too long a time. Who Goes There?" was, of course, the basis for the 1951 film The Thing from Another World, remade more true to form by John Carpenter as simply The Thing in 1982. Both were, arguably, the best work of each director involved, as Campbell's story is arguably his finest moment.

Those who saw the first film and not
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I've only read the title story online (the book is surprisingly hard to find.) I had heard the ultra-squeamish and still nightmare-inducing John Carpenter flick The Thing was more faithful to this, its source material, than the 1950's film version. I haven't seen The Thing From Another World so I can't say. And by the way, am I or am I not reviewing a book here?

I enjoyed the arguments over the science of the Thing and the story was enjoyably creepy. There were too many characters to really keep
Jeannie Sloan
What a good story.I am suprised that I haven't read this before.
This story has all you could want in a horror story.Long,drawn-out suspence,terror and a monster.
It is also surprising that the original movie The Thing used so little of the book.The re-make in the 1990' was much better and more gruesome.
This story I couldn't put down to the end because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to all of the people and the monster.I think that this novella is really one of the best ever written
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una raccolta che attira per il titolo: chi non conosce il racconto "La Cosa da un altro mondo" avrà perlomeno visto o sentito parlare della famosa trasposizione cinematografica di John Carpenter "La Cosa" ("The Thing"). "Who goes there?" (il titolo originale), è uno splendido esempio di fantascienza di prima classe che incontra il genere horror. Ma è nella lettura degli altri racconti che emerge la cifra stilistica di Campbell: una fantascienza più scientifica che favolistica, una continua specu ...more
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
The edition I read is from Buccaneer Books, and is a reprint of the 1948 book of the same name. It contains seven short fiction pieces originally published in "Astounding Science Fiction" between November of 1934, and August of 1938. They were originally published under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart. This collection was tied for 13th with four other books on the Arkham Survey in 1949 as one of the 'Basic SF Titles'. In addition, on the 'Astounding/Analog All-Time - Book' polls in 1952 and 1956 it ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it
I only read the novella "Who Goes There." This is the story that the two movies The Thing were based on. I was impressed with how faithful Carpenter's version was to the story. As a reading experience it can be a bit choppy, as Campbell throws buckets of science at you, no doubt in order ground the story in a believable way. But that works! Where it does falter is in its descriptions of some of the men. Most of them seem to be strapping giants from Robert E. Howard land. For example, McReady (th ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plus4
From a golden age of science fiction which could imagine 1970 as a distant future and life on Mars was quite acceptable as an idea.

Who goes there? (the flm The Thing being based on) was the weakest of the stories for me.
It starts the book and is obviously the reason most will read it.

I nearly gave up at that point and now very glad I did not.

Elimination seemed the most interesting and must have a film in it somewhere.

This is a time when sci-fi writers could not see past vacuum tubes and atomic e
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As a self-confessed fan of— no, wait. Hang on a second.

Hello everyone, my name is Lee, and I'm a science fiction fan. There, now I've got that out of the way I can crack on.

As a self-confessed fan of science fiction, you might expect me to be au fait with John W. Campbell. While most of the world was busy killing each other in World War Two, the science fiction genre was busy reinventing itself. The period from the late 1930s until the late 1940s is knows as “The Golden Age of Science Fiction”.
Andy Ritchie
I chose this book primarily to read the story behind The Thing (as I'm a big fan of John carpenter's screen version). Is it as good as the film? Probably not, but that doesn't mean to say it's not a well written, engaging story.
As for the other shorts in the book - well, there are some thought-provoking ideas, but readers should be aware that they are somewhat dated.
Ash Barker
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror

Like many, this is a review of the titular Novella, though I have read and enjoyed Campbell's other work (just not in a compilation).

I think that for many, sci fi and horror of the pre and post WWII variety may be an acquired taste. Campbell's writing can be compared to the likes of Walter M Miller, Heinlein and Herbert in that it can focus heavily on the science at times or in exposition of why 'what is happening works'. While this fits the contemporary reader of that time, who WANTS to hear
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this for a quick deviation from some other books I'm reading currently. I loved the idea of an other worldly creature dividing men and turning them against one another. I wanted a little bit more characterization though. The characters seemed a bit wooden and the descriptions of them could have been greatly expanded. I understand that Campbell was writing a short story but more work at created intimacy with the characters and the reader would have been beneficial. Nevertheless, a nice phy ...more
Kathy Jackson
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi Fans
"Who Goes There?": The novella that formed the basis of "The Thing" is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient, frozen body of a crash-landed alien. The creature revives with terrifying results, shape-shifting to assume the exact form of animal and man, alike. Paranoia ensues as a band of frightened men work to discern friend from foe, and destroy the menace before it challenges all of humanity!

The last remake of The Thing with Kurt Russ
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
I only read the title short story, but I'm reviewing it here because I couldn't find the story listed separately. I read this story because it was the inspiration for the movie The Thing. I wasn't wild about that movie, but I thought the movie, as a short story, would be an interesting read. I suppose that's dangerous, to read a book with expectations from a movie. Well, anyway, I found the movie a bit confusing, and reading the book has told me why: the book is also very confusing. There are a ...more
Dec 05, 2007 rated it liked it
A fun little sci-fi horror novella. This story was the basis for the John Carpenter classic movie, The Thing, as well as for the earlier (and much less cool) 1950s movie. I don't usually have very high expectations for old sci-fi stories, at least as far as basic excitement goes, but this one had a lot of the tension and appeal of the movie. Scientists at an Antarctic research station find an alien creature buried in the ice, only to have some of them become infected by it. Their lives become a ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I must admit I only read the first 70-80 pages to get the first story so the rest of the small stories I haven't paid attention to! I know, but I just wanted to read what inspired The Thing! So! The mood is set instantly by an intense description of smells and sensations, mostly associated with the creature under the tarmac and the excavation team surrounding it. There is ice, isolation, fear and curiosity as the creature is confirmed as being of an Alien origin.

They discover the Alien is still
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've been meaning to read this for over twenty years (ever since I discovered it was the story that gave birth to The Thing from Another World, and the superb John Carpenter remake, back in the 80s). Now, with a sequel to Carpenter's film about to hit cinemas, I decided it was about time I got stuck in. The story is entertaining and it's clear how close Capenter stuckl to the tale for his film version, with his version of the creature much closer to Campbell's original beast than the Howard Hawk ...more
I borrowed this from the library specifically to read the novella 'Who Goes There?' because I realised that I'd never read it despite it being a classic work of horror/SF and it is one that is hard to find.

Who Goes There? was a genuinely creepy story and I realised that John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing was much more faithful to the source text than Howard Hawks 1951 'The Thing from Outer Space'.

The six short stories that were also included in the collection were fine but not that amazing or
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Too many adverbs and stilted dialogue made what would otherwise have been a very enjoyable collection of short stories into something that felt like a chore to read. Campbell explains things to death. The last story I was ready to give up after the hundreth repetition of "cold and dead". It was exhausting. And the infodumps! Dear lord! I read science fiction partly to be intrigued, mystified, and to explore the unknown. I do not need nor want infodumps - I like to find my bearing and understandi ...more
Reviewer from Terra
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Who Goes There, by John Campbell, long time editor of Astounding/Analog gave up his own career to guide the careers of others such as Heinlein and Asimov. This story proves just how great a writer he was. An alien being is discovered frozen in the antarctic (Three movies have been based on this), and it defrosts. The men learn that the creature, each cell of the creature is capable of invading and transmuting anything it infects, into a copy of itself. Paranoia never read so good. This is one of ...more
Michael T. Gennaro
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I grew up watching "The Thing: From Another World" with my father and graduated to the more frightening (and gruesome) "John Carpenter's The Thing" when I was old enough. I have always loved them both and frequently wondered about the novella which they both drew inspiration from. Having now read the story it has given me a greater appreciation for each of the films and rekindled my interest in both. It was a great horror story and still gave me chills and made me think even though I knew what w ...more
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
I only read the title story in this collection, I wasn't keen to read on, although I did enjoy 'Who a Goes There' I found it convoluted. I wanted to read the story because I love the film 'The Thing' and I'm glad I did but it's a little old fashioned and some of the science has been superseded so it was hokey in places and as mentioned, convoluted. I found it hard to follow all the characters. There is a great creepiness to this however and I think John Carpenter really captured the mood of the ...more
Tiffany Parra
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was to me one of the best books we read so far. It may have just been that it was Sc-Fi and enjoy those novels , or it could have been the texture of the language of the book. Through the book i felt as the characters would feel being there with them and actually going through and experience like that.It was very intriguing but in my opinion for the size of the book it seemed long. Though the book had great textual features, and just great vocabulary but the way the book was setup it s ...more
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read the Kindle version of this short story, and while it was a little more than I wanted to spend on a short story (over $4.00). The story itself is just as good as I remembered it being. The first time I read this story I was single and living alone and it was one of those nights I spent sleeping with a baseball bat, not that it would have saved me from the red eyed, shape shifting creature in this book, but the bat made me feel a little better.

This story is the inspiration behind the 80's m
Jun 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was a shame that this book wasn't just the first short story by itself because that one was good. It was the rest that ruined the book for me. They were long-winded and repetitive and while they weren't badly written it was very telling that they were written more than fifty years ago. I tried to enjoy them, I really did, but they were just so tedious and frustrating that I was just relieved to finish the book. The first short story really was good, though, so I would recommend people read th ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012, horror
(Note: My Kindle edition just had the title story. I can't find a GR entry for just that, though the description above suggests there is one.)

John Carpenter's film The Thing is a favorite of mine, so when this novella popped up for 99c at Amazon, I couldn't resist.

I loved the descriptions of the setting and he did well in capturing the paranoia of those in isolation with the mysterious "thing." Some of the writing (particularly with the science explanations) didn't age well, and there were a few
Thomas Luca
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed it, although one especially in particular was the short story called Who Goes There? I like the fact that one of my favorite science fiction/horror films was based on this book. And that film was the 1982 film called "The THING" directed by John Carpenter which he adapted it and followed closely to this original novella, Who Goes There? John Carpenter's version of The THING was a remake of the 1951 film, "The Thing from Another World. A great read, I encourage anyone to sit back in a n ...more
Peter Cawdron
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the novella from which The Thing was developed as a story...

At times I found it hard to follow what was happening, and found myself re-reading sections but, honestly, this is just brilliant sci-fi. Loved it. Even having seen the movie half a dozen times, I thoroughly enjoy the book and learned more. Highly recommended.

Please note, this book is a series of short stories/novellas. I'm just getting into the others now...
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great read.

I actually picked it up because the title story "Who goes there," is what both movies, The Thing from another world (1951) and The Thing (1982) were based on. Both really great movies!
Although, The Thing from 1982 really is more true to the spirit of the novella.

It was written in 1948 and still holds up without issue.
If you like a good old fashioned Sci fi and with a good creepy feeling with it, you will like this.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: misc-horror, sci-fi
As much as I like the originality of these stories, I find them very talky. That is to say, the characters spend a great deal of time standing around talking about whatever is happening to them. I loved the movie version of "Who Goes There?" (John Carpenter's "The Thing"); it's very action-packed. The short story seems less action-packed and more dialogue-oriented.
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Book sucks, movie(s) rocks 3 10 Jun 26, 2013 08:30AM  
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John Wood Campbell, Jr. was an influential figure in American science fiction. As editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact), from late 1937 until his death, he is generally credited with shaping the so-called Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Isaac Asimov called Campbell "the most powerful force in science fiction ever, and for the first ten years of his edito
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“Niente che la Terra abbia mai generato ha provato l'indicibile sublimazione di furia devastatrice che questa cosa lasciò scatenare sul proprio volto quando si guardò intorno venti milioni di anni fa e si vide circondata dalla desolazione e dal ghiaccio.” -1 likes
“Quel posto puzzava. Un odore bizzarro e composito, come può esserci soltanto nelle baracche sepolte nel ghiaccio di un accampamento antartico, un misto di fetido sudore umano, e dell'afrore ammorbante d'olio di pesce ricavato dal grasso di foca sciolto. Un vago sentore di linimento combatteva l'odore muffito delle pellicce infradiciate dal sudore e dalla neve. Il sentore acre del grasso alimentare bruciato, e l'odore animale e non del tutto sgradevole dei cani, diluito dal tempo, aleggiavano nell'aria.
Gli odori residui dell'olio da macchina contrastavano nettamente con quelli dei rivestimenti e del cuoio. Eppure, in mezzo a tutto quel puzzo di esseri umani, di cani, di macchine e di cucina, c'era un altro tanfo. Era qualcosa di strano, che faceva rizzare i capelli sulla nuca, un debolissimo sentore alieno tra gli odori della attività e della vita. Ed era un odore di vita.”
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