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John Wyndham – First Edition Books: Identification Guide

John Wyndham
John Wyndham

John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris (1903 – 1969) nwas an English science fiction writer best known for his works published under the pen name John Wyndham, although he also used other combinations of his names, such as John Beynon and Lucas Parkes. Some of his works were set in post-apocalyptic landscapes. His best known works include The Day of the Triffids (1951), filmed in 1962 and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), filmed in 1960 as Village of the Damned and again in 1990 under the same title.

John Wyndham’s reputation rests mainly on the first four of the novels published in his lifetime under that name.The Day of the Triffids remains his best-known work, but some readers consider that The Chrysalids was really his best. This is set in the far future of a post-nuclear dystopia where women’s fertility is compromised and they are severely oppressed if they give birth to “mutants”. David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, wrote of it: “One of the most thoughtful post-apocalypse novels ever written. Wyndham was a true English visionary, a William Blake with a science doctorate.”

The ideas in The Chrysalids are echoed in The Handmaid’s Tale, whose author, Margaret Atwood, has acknowledged Wyndham’s work as an influence. She wrote an introduction to a new edition of Chocky in which she states that the intelligent alien babies in The Midwich Cuckoos entered her dreams.

John Wyndham – First Editions Identification Guide

Note: This list only includes works published prior to 1977.

How to Identify First Edition books by John Wyndham Guide.
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1973THE BEST OF JOHN WYNDHAMLondon: Sphere Books Limited, [1973]Wrappers. First published in Great Britain ... 1973 on © page. Sphere 0 7221 9369 6 (40p). John Wyndham, pseudonym. Reissued without introduction and bibliography as THE MAN FROM BEYOND AND OTHER STORIES.
1968CHOCKYNew York: Ballantine Books, [1968]Wrappers. First Printing: February, 1968 on © page. A Ballantine Science Fiction Original U6119 (75¢). John Wyndham,pseudonym.
ALSO: London: Michael Joseph, [1968]. Boards. First published in Great Britain ... 1968 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1955THE CHRYSALIDSLondon; Michael Joseph, [1955]Boards. First published ... 1955 on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym. Issued earlier in the U.S. with textual differences as RE-BIRTH.
1961CONSIDER HER WAYS & OTHERSLondon; Michael Joseph, [1961]Boards. First published ...1961 on © page. John Wyndham .pseudonym.
1951THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDSGarden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1951First edition so stated on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym. Reissued as REVOLT OF THE TRIFFIDS.
ALSO: London: Michael Joseph, [1951]. First published ... 1951 on © page. Textual differences.
1935FOUL PLAY SUSPECTEDLondon; George Newnes, Limited., [1935]No statement of printing on © page. John Beynon, pseudonym.
1961THE INFINITE MOMENTNew York: Ballantine Books, [1961]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ballantine Books 546 (35¢). John Wyndham, pseudonym.
1954JIZZLELondon; Dennis Dobson, [1954]Boards. First published in Great Britain in MCMLIV on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym.
Note: Two states of the dust jacket, priority as listed:
  • (A) Rear panel carries advertisements for two titles, headed MAN WITH A BACKGROUND OF FLAMES/Richard Johns;
  • (B) Rear panel lists ten titles, headed Some imaginative fiction.
1964THE JOHN WYNDHAM OMNIBUSLondon: Michael Joseph, [1964]Boards. First published ... 1964 on © page. Reprint. Collects THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, THE KRAKEN WAKES, and THE CHRYSALIDS. John Wyndham, pseudonym.
1953THE KRAKEN WAKESLondon: Michael Joseph, [1953]Boards. First published ... 1953 on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym. Issued later with textual changes in the U.S. as OUT OF THE DEEPS.
1945-46LOVE IN TIME[London: Utopian Publications Ltd.], n.d. [ca. 1945-1946]Wrappers. No statement of printing,. Cover title. Printed in Eire on page 36. Johnson Harris, pseudonym.
1975THE MAN FROM BEYOND AND OTHER STORIESLondon: Michael Joseph, [1975]Boards. This edition first published in Great Britain ... 1975 on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym. Reissue of THE BEST OF JOHN WYNDHAM. Drops introduction by Leslie Flood and bibliography.
1957THE MIDWICH CUCKOOSLondon: Michael Joseph, [1957]Boards. First published... 1957 on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym.
ALSO: New York: Ballantine Books, [1953]. No statement of printing on © page. Textual changes. Reissued following this text as VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED.
1953OUT OF THE DEEPSNew York: Ballantine Books, [1953]Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Boards;
  • (B) Wrappers. Ballantine Books 50 (35¢).
No statement of printing on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym. Issued earlier in Great Britain with textual differences as THE KRAKEN WAKES.
1959THE OUTWARD URGELondon: Michael Joseph [1959]Boards. First published ... 1959 on © page. John Wyndham and Lucas Parkes, pseudonyms.
ALSO: London: The Science Fiction Book Club, 1961. Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Adds "The Emptiness of Space : A.D. 2194."
1936PLANET PLANELondon: Newnes, [1936]No statement of printing on © page. John Beynon, pseudonym. Revised as STOWAWAY TO MARS.
1955RE-BIRTHNew York: Balltantine Books, [1955]Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Cloth;
  • (B) Wrappers. Ballantine Books 104 (35¢).
No statement of printing on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym. Issued later in Great Britain with textual differences as THE CHRYSALIDS.
1952REVOLT OF THE TRIFFIDSAtew York: Popular Library, [1952]Wrappers. March, 1952 on © page.Popular Library 411 (25¢). John Wyndham, pseudonym. Reissue of THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS.
1935THE SECRET PEOPLELondon: George Newnes, Limited, [1935]Three bindings, no priority established:
  • (A) Green cloth, spine lettered in black;
  • (B) Red cloth, spine lettered in gold;
  • (C) Brown cloth, spine lettered in gold. No statement of printing on © page. John Beynon, pseudonym.
Note: Issued in the U.S. in 1973 by Fawcett Publications under the John Wyndham pseudonym.
1956THE SEEDS OF TIMELondon; Michael Joseph, [1956]Boards. First published ... 1956 on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym.
1973SLEEPERS OF MARSLondon: Hodder Paperbacks Ltd., [1973]Wrappers. First published in this form ... 1973 on © page. Coronet Science Fiction 17326 2 (30p).
1953STOWAWAYTO MARSLondon; Nova Publications Ltd., [1953]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Nova Science Fiction Novels No. 1 (1'6). John Beynon, pseudonym. Revised text. Originally published as PLANET PLANE.
1956TALES OF GOOSEFLESH AND LAUGHTERNew York: Ballantine Books, [1956]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym..
1960TROUBLE WITH LICHENLondon; Michael Joseph, [1960]Boards. First published ... 1960 on © page. John Wyndham, pseudonym.
ALSO: New York: Ballantine Books, [1960], Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ballantine Science Fiction 449 K (350). Textual differences.
ALSO: New York: Walker and Company, [1969], Boards. Published in the United States of America in 1969 ... on © page. First U.S. hardcover edition. Follows the 1960 Ballantine Books text.
1960VILLAGE OF THE DAMNEDNew York: Ballantine Books, [1960]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ballantine Books 453K (35¢). John Wyndham, pseudonym. Reissue of THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS. Note: Follows the 1958 Ballantine Books text.
1973WANDERERS OF TIMELondon; Hodder Paperbacks Ltd., [1973]Wrappers. First published in this form ... 1973 on © page. Coronet Science Fiction 173068 (30p).

John Wyndham – First Printing Dust Jacket Identification Points

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of Wyndham’s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • L. W. Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction.

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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