Eastside Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Rants,Raves,Reviews,Revelations > Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr

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message 1: by PostPerry (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments Who Goes There? I wanted to like this more but could not. The psychological head games were good but the scene setting and plot elements like the psychic dreams seemed weak to me. Heavy overuse of the word white but also seemed underutilized as a potential metaphor, to me came across as a poor vocabulary. The conversation-as-scene style was kind of disjointed and used inconsistently, my version is a digital version so it might be incomplete because there seemed to be missing sentences or words, at one point when they're testing dutton's blood the script says Dutt-Bor! and I think it should have been Dutt-Bar! I'd like to read a print version and compare, perhaps that would improve my impression of the story


message 2: by Cindy (last edited May 30, 2018 07:26AM) (new)

Cindy | 119 comments Mod
Missing sentences and words? You might need to count yourself lucky. This was one of the wordiest books I've ever read (ended up skimming a lot).

That said, my biggest problem with this book was the total misrepresentation of science, particularly the scientific method. Shove all that aside for the purpose of the story. Why even bother making them scientists, instead of just explorers?

It's been ages and ages since seeing the John Carpenter movie, and I'm not sure I ever watched the entire thing, but in my memory it was quite different. It was also quite gross (will never forget the scene with a dog-monster gooey alien thing, which is probably why I never finished the flick).


message 3: by PostPerry (new)

PostPerry | 95 comments I was talking with a person yesterday who feels telepathy is a frequent crutch for a lack of imagination and I definitely think it was used so for this books plot, especially the whole dream projection telepathy to explain things was kind of handy wave lazy.

But i found the movie-inspired, short-story spinoff from the alien's perspective fascinating.
http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts... perhaps even better written than 'Who Goes There?' though the last line kind of ruins it going for a scandalous shock factor when the writing before that had been more artful and thought promoting. "thinking cancer" "encysted souls" I guess I can see why the original story with its arguable flaws fed other artists and creators imaginations.


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