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Who Goes There? [Hardcover]

John W. Campbell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 5 2003
The tie-in to the upcoming blockbuster prequel to John Carpenter's THE THING - the never before told story of the original doomed Norwegian expedition. When a group of scientific researchers, isolated in Antarctica, stumble across an alien spaceship buried in the ice it seems like an incredible opportunity. The alien pilot can just be seen - a shadowy figure frozen just a short depth into the ice. It looks as though he survived the crash only to be flash-frozen on the Antarctic plateau. The team fight the frozen conditions to free the ship from the ice - with disastrous consequences - and rescue the alien. As they transport the corpse, one of their greatest finds, out on the ice back to their camp, several scientists begin to experience extraordinary, vivid and unsettling dreams. They're dismissed as the product of stress and the harsh conditions ...but the nightmare is only beginning.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Every single one of these seven stories is pure science fiction gold, not only standing the test of time after 80 years but simply inspired works of fiction. Anyone really interested in science fiction should read this collection and see how it's written by the very best. -- Anthony Jones SFBOOKREVIEWS blog --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in New Jersey in 1910, John W. Campbell studied physics at MIT and then Duke University. By the age of 18 he was writing science fiction, and was a recognised name in the genre by the time he was 21. He died in 1971. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before you buy this... March 14 2004
By Dave_42 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Before you buy "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell Jr., you should first consider "A New Dawn: The Complete Don A. Stuart Stories" by the same author. It contains all the works of short fiction that are in this book, and it includes 9 more, as well as two articles. The price of "A New Dawn..." is just a little more than the cost of this book. As for this printing of "Who Goes There?", it is well put together; the binding and paper are high quality. They could have done a better job in proofreading though, as there are several places where there are missing letters, or spaces that appear in the middle of a word. It does not occur so often as to make it a big problem, but I found it to be noticeable.
This printing, from Buccaneer Books, 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 was rated 5th and tied for 13th respectively.
John W. Campbell (1910-1971) was undoubtedly best known as the editor of "Astounding Science Fiction" from 1937-1971, but he also wrote quite a few books and short fiction pieces along the way. This collection includes perhaps his best known stories: "Who Goes There?", "Twilight", and "Night".
"Who Goes There?" is the classic story of a group of scientists in Antarctica who discover an alien who was frozen there millions of years ago.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Stories by a Grandmaster Aug. 6 2001
This collection is a superior value. It contains not only Campbell's superb novella of sci/fi terror (Who Goes There?) but six other stories! All in a quality hardback! John W. Campbell, Jr. was one of the great science fiction writers in history. His approach to his craft in his all too brief career as a writer, and his long career as an editor (his employer would not allow him to both write and edit, so when he started as an editor he quit writing) were of incalculable influence. Many of sci/fi's greatest honed their craft at his feet. Unfortunately (indeed the word is disgracefully) very little of Campbell's work remains in print. Happily, Buccaneer Books has published this excellent collection. It opens with an interesting forward by Campbell himself. It contains the novella "Who Goes There?", and the stories "Blindness", "Frictional Losses", "Dead Knowledge", "Elimination", "Twilight", and "Night." 230 pages all told, nicely hardbound in blue cloth, and well worth your time and money.
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Science fiction devotees have long enjoyed viewing Howard Hawks' "The Thing," the classic 1951 film which helped usher in that decade's output of great and not-so-great sci-fi literature and films. This Hollywood effort, which ended as a dated cautionary tale warning of the perils from the skies (read: Russian menace) was remade by John Carpenter in 1982 as "John Carpenter's The Thing," an excellent and chilling revisitation of the theme of alien invasion, both planetary and corporeal. I had assumed that this film's graphic depiction of another life form's assimilation and extermination of humans was the pinnacle (in 1982) of sci-fi horror; that is, until I read the novella upon which these two films were based. John W. Campbell, Jr.'s "Who Goes There?" is literally a story that takes hold of one from the first paragraph and refuses to let go until the last. A narrative in the tradition of Lovecraft's "At The Mountains of Madness" and E.A. Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," this is one of those increasingly rare books which can frighten one more readily than the most overtly obvious visual media, such as film or television. I cannot recommend this book enough; it will satisfy the hardcore science fiction fanatic (in which category this reviewer decidedly does NOT fit), the mystery buff, and the average reader who enjoys a well-crafted story. Purchase this modest novella, and prepare to read it in one sitting, most probably as I did: casting nervous glances around the room while trying to maintain my position on the edge of the seat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who Goes There? Shines Aug. 9 2000
I first read this short book back in 1960, when I was ten. Coming off of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, this one grabbed me by the short hairs and dangled me above the floor. Then someone told me they had made a movie of it. You can't imagine how disappointed I was to see James Arness as a humanoid plant. What riles me more is how John Carpenter's remake was lambasted by both the critics and the director of the previous film for its excessive violence. Carpenter had only remained faithful to the original novella. For fifties-era SF, this was not your typical pre-teen reading, and it still packs a strong punch even today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The creature in the cold Feb. 22 2014
Shameful confession time: I have never actually seen John Carpenter's sci-fi/horror movie, "The Thing." But I have read John W. Campbell's classic novella "Who Goes There?", which the movie is based on -- a lean, dialogue-heavy novella that is brimming with paranoia and uncertainty. Even the reader won't know who is what.

A team of scientist in Antarctica discover a strange alien craft, buried in the ice for millions of years. After they accidentally destroy the craft, they find a frozen alien creature and take it back to the base -- only to discover that it's not truly dead. When the ice thaws, the creature vanishes out from under their noses.

But soon the scientists discover that the creature is very much alive -- and even worse, it can absorb and mimic living creatures perfectly. Nobody on the base is free of suspicion, and they must find and kill every part of "the thing" before it has a chance to spread across the Earth. If they don't, all life is doomed.

"Who Goes There" is a story with no padding -- every character has a reason to be in the story, and every scene ramps up the intensity and paranoia. It's kind of top-heavy with dialogue (there are several scenes with just people hanging around asking, "What should we do?") but at least the dialogue is all necessary.

And Campbell does a brilliant job with the simple plot, slowly building up the sense of suspense and paranoia -- one person goes nuts and hides in a room singing hymns, while others just lie in their bunks and throw up. It especially helps that this is a third-person narrative, so even the READER doesn't know who is an alien and who isn't.

Campbell also errs on the side of leanness when it comes to the characters.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars At Last!!!
I have been waiting for years to get this book. The Thing (John Carpenter's) is my favorite sci-fi/horror movie of all time. I was really looking forward to reading this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ringo Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a review of "Who Goes There"
I have to say that I came to this novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell by seeing it on the credits of one of my favorite 50's Sci-fi movies with James Arness, "The Thing... Read more
Published 11 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and holds your attention.
I have to say that I came to this novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell by seeing it on the credits of one of my favorite 50's Sci-fi movies with James Arness, "The Thing... Read more
Published 11 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read, original story line
Published 12 months ago by Kenneth Warwick
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the collection
The product description of this ebook makes this sound like it is the short story collection that includes the title story. It is not. It is only the 70-page short story. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Adam Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff.
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... Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 stars The Thing Goes On
I worked backwards through "The Thing" stories. I remember as a young kid in the 60's watching Howard Hawk's A Thing From Another World. Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2002 by Stuart Bloom
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