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Frozen Hell

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In 1938, acclaimed science fiction author John W. Campbell published the novella Who Goes There?, about a team of scientists in Antarctica who discover and are terrorized by a monstrous, shape-shifting alien entity. The story would later be adapted into John Carpenter's iconic movie The Thing (following an earlier film adaptation in 1951). The published novella was ...more
ebook, Early Release Kickstarter Edition, 149 pages
Published January 17th 2019 by Wildside Press
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  200 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Michael Fierce
This is the expanded version of Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr. , adapted into three films, The Thing from Another World (1951) directed by Howard Hawks , The Thing (1982) directed by John Carpenter , and The Thing (2011) directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

My copy is the Deluxe Signed Leather-bound Hardcover Edition with an introduction by Robert Silverberg and interior art by Bob Eggleton , including the cover painting shown on GR and further below, the actual cover shown
Aaron Arnold
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I vividly remember reading "Who Goes There?" as a child, in a sci-fi short story compilation I checked out from the library whose name I can't recall. I've completely forgotten the other stories, which were of the kind that fellow sci-fi veteran Robert Silverberg fondly but firmly sums up in the Introduction here as "wordy epics in which grim, methodical supermen repeatedly saved the world from menacing aliens by mastering, with the greatest of ease, such things as faster-than-light travel, the ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, horror
John W. Campbell Jr.'s short story WHO GOES THERE? was famously the story that has been made into three films thus far: the 1950s sci-fi shocker THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, the '80s all-time great THE THING, and the recent lacklustre prequel. I've never read WHO GOES THERE?, but I jumped on FROZEN HELL, which was discovered in a manuscript archive last year. It's the extended version of WHO GOES THERE?, expanding the original short story to novella length, and unread until now.

Read today, this
Steven Blessing
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The original needed more crampons and primus stoves and this new version delivers!
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-sci-fi
“Who Goes There?”, the sci-fi classic short and the source of “The Thing” movies was once the unpublished and lost novella “Frozen Hell”. Now available, this version of the story adds opening chapters that expands on the discovery of the monster frozen in the ice while keeping most of the later version narrative intact. It’s hard to say if this version is any better than the short story. The both tell a terrific story, just differently.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another recent ‘discovery’ of an earlier version of what is regarded as a science fiction classic. As his Preface to this book explains, Alec Nevala-Lee (author of the recent biography Astounding) found this in a discovery worthy of the story itself, whilst going through boxes of author and editor John W. Campbell’s stuff in the Harvard Library whilst researching his own book.

At the bottom of one box was 112 pages of a manuscript entitled “Frozen Hell” and also “Pandora”. You may not
David Sanders
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You'd almost have to *be* a thing from another world to have never heard of John Carpenter's The Thing, which hit the theaters the year my little sister was born (1981). It's a masterpiece of horror cinema adapted from "Who Goes There?" which John W. Campbell, Jr. published as "Don Stuart" in the August '38 issue of Astounding Stories (which you can read online!) If you're geek flag is a little higher, you'll also know the film descended from a less faithful adaptation The Thing from Another ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I contributed to the crowd-funding of the publication of this recently discovered, longer version of the novella 'Who Goes There' (1938) which inspired the renowned horror films 'The Thing from Another World' (1951) and 'The Thing' (1982). I've been on a kick recently to read the source novels for many of my favorite horror movies. While I've never seen the 1952 film, I'm very familiar with '82 version and enjoyed noting plot elements John Carpenter carried over. Overall, the novella reads like ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I know sometimes, well....most of the time, my reviews sound like I just ate a whole tray of Bob Marley brownies, but if I wrote a book, I'm sure I could make more sense than Frozen Hell.

Now, I know Frozen Hell was originally written about 1938, and they kinda spoke a bit funny back then, but I'm sure I've read other books from that era that made more sense than this steampunk technobabble. Hmm, I wonder if John Campbell had been chowing down on a few of those Reggae brownies before he wrote
Frank Barich
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good expanded version of Who Goes There? aka The Thing
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A newly discovered early--and much longer--draft of Campbell's Who Goes There?, upon which the movies The Thing and The Thing from Another World are based. Campbell would appear to be a decent editor. The well known shorter version of the story is better. Even then, while he's got a great imagination, and is justly famous for his sci-fi stories from the early days of the genre, he's not a very good writer. The dialogue is pretty terrible, and he's not very good at describing anything, or ...more
Shaun Heenan
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 I guess? The idea is a lot better than the writing.
As a huge fan of John Carpenter's The Thing film, I was immensely curious to read this story when I saw it was being republished in this form. Overall, it was a fine experience, mostly because of nostalgia and my love for the subject matter. The story itself was okay, it was interesting to see what Carpenter carried over to his film version besides the overall premise of a shapeshifting monster at an Antarctic base. There were some familiar character names, some familiar scenes and a few lines ...more
Sarah (trisarahtopsreads)
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I learned about the release of Frozen Hell from friends on Bookstagram! The Thing is one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies, and I had no idea it was based off of a short story, “Who Goes There”. I haven’t read that one, but thought to go with Frozen Hell. Frozen Hell is 8 chapters long, and Campbell was told to shorten it in order to be accepted in a magazine because the beginning was slow burning. He cut the first three chapters and edited the rest. “Who Goes There” is only 5 chapters long. I do ...more
Kevin Gallagher, Jr
As someone who only just watched John Carpenter’s THE THING within the last two years, I was very excited about the discovery of FROZEN HELL—a longer version of John Campbell’s sci-fi classic, WHO GOES THERE? (which THE THING is based off of).

If you guess that I’ve never read the original, you’d be right—as I said, I’ve only recently watched THE THING. So, I’m not able to compare the two, but can say I like this version very much. There’s plenty of back story that helps build the world of this
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The original story was written in 1938, so the dialogue is a bit stilted, stuffy, and consequently, difficult to follow at times. Still, as I am a huge fan of John Carpenter's movie, I loved reading the little details that were changed or left completely out of the movie. The book isn't very long, but it took more time to read due to the technical terms and because the author would only vaguely describe an event so I ended up rereading paragraphs to see if I missed something. In most cases, I ...more
James Murphy
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Among science fiction short stories, one of the most notable is "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr. This tale of an alien horror on the loose at an Antarctic research station is the basis for the 1951 movie "The Thing from Another World," John Carpenter's classic 1982 film "The Thing," and a 2011 prequel (also titled "The Thing"). It turns out, though, that "Who Goes There?" is the shortened version of a novel Campbell wrote titled "Frozen Hell." The "Frozen Hell" manuscript was found ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
OK so John Carpenters The Thing is one of my all time favorite movies. Super excited to read this beautiful new publication. Really enjoyed it, but I had a super hard time not placing Kurt Russell, Wilfred Brimley, and Keith David into the story the whole time! Good paced story, somewhat disorienting at times, and both vast and confined/claustrophobic at the same time. It is a short, quick read so not a lot of time for character development, but luckily we have Kurt and Co to fill that gap for ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Frozen Hell is an early version of Campbell's classic Who Goes There? The introduction says it was found in his papers after his death together with some letters that discuss the history of the story. This I found interesting because it gives an good introduction to the author before the publisher. I had read Who Goes There, but couldn't remember much about it, but my notes say I really liked it and the same is true for Frozen Hell. Well worth the read.
Vegan Jon
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
So this has roughly 3 extra chapters at the start so gives more detail about the finding of the Thing. So that is interesting and more like the film. But it still suffers from too many characters. The film is much tighter and better. Still this is interesting to compare but ultimately "who goes there?", is a better written story. This edition is nicely put together with a nice history of the story and some added art work and a preview of a sequel! Which is cool.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Perhaps because the story as originally published was so impactful on my young (at the time) brain or perhaps simply proof that Campbell was a better editor than writer, Frozen Hell, while I am glad I read it, still felt more like reading a historical document that was the underpinnings of an incredible event, which, of course, it was than a great read. I'm glad I contributed to the cause, I'm glad I read it but it won't be a re-read any time soon.
Kent Archie
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
My favorite of the Thing movies is the 1951 "The Thing From Another World". It is only loosly based on the original story "Who Goes There?" by John Campbell.
So while I have seen a later, more faithful adaption, this is the first time I have read the story.
This isn;t just the original story but an expanded version that was never published before now.
Anyway, if you like any of the movies, read this.
While dated, it is still scary
Nov 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Utterly disappointing. Before I started reading it, I was expecting the story to have what Carpenter's movie has and a bit more, 'cause hey, it's the book! Right?
But it doesn't. It actually has nothing of the horror and the tension that the 80's movie has. I know it's a sci-fi story, not a horror one, but the expectation was really high on my part.
Erica Martin
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a super interesting read but I have to admit, Campbell probably made the right call when he cut the chapters included in this when he original story printed. Either way, this book was a cool historical find and I enjoyed reading it. The Thing is probably my favorite horror movie and I’ll always be happy for more stories related to the idea.
Derek Smyk
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why Campbell made the changes he did in "Who Goes There." That final version flows better and is overall more effective as a story. However, I still really enjoyed this version, and I'm glad it was rediscovered after being hidden away for decades.
Tanya Tzatmary
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
The manuscript of this book was given by John Campbell to Harvard University along with the rest of his works which are all out of copyright. This is a dirty cash grab. His works are in the public domain.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book from the Preface which tells the story of the lost and recently discovered complete manuscript of John Campbell's Who Goes There? to the first 27 page preview of a forthcoming sequel. Highly recommended
Michael Hanscom
A recently discovered longer version of Campbell’s classic novella “Who Goes There” (the source for John Carpenter’s SF/horror film _The Thing_). Holds up well for a late-30s story; still creepy and fun.
Jonathan Irvine
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything from the classic with a bit more character development. Highly recommend.
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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
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