Another triumph by the greatest British science-fiction writer (sorry Aldis, you don't compete; & Clarke is a purely international phenomenon) This is later in his body of work, dating to 1968 (he died in '69), but carries the same authority, the same questions, the same hope for the future as his other works of the second flowering of his talent, that dating from the fifties and sixties, when he wrote as John Wyndham and not Benyon Harris or some other variation from his name. Chocky is, apparently, a being from another planet, star system, galaxy even, who is able to communicate by mind with a young boy ~ the protagonist's son. Naturally, the alien culture, science, technology, civilisation are all well in advance of ours; Chocky's task is to be a teacher, to guide us into a more mature use of the Earth and, especially, x-x-x-x-x ~ a power system based on the interstellar radiation ~ which will enable us to develop properly. Unfortunately, for her task, Chocky becomes emotionally involved where she ought to be detached, and her mission is, this time, a failure. Wyndham's interest is not so much the story, though that is fascinating, but the ideas behind the story, and, more particularly, the questions raised by the suppositions of the plot. What would happen if a child heard a voice from outside itself? Why can mind not be cast across space since, as Chocky points out, it is massless and maybe not subject to the terminal velocity of light? And, though this is a secondary question, can there be points of contact between alien species? Wyndham's answer appears to be that at least one such point might be art, a curious suggestion. © Elsie Wilson, 2002.