The Tomorrow People by Judith Merril (book review).

May 1, 2022 | By | Reply More

Judith Merril’s 1960 book ‘The Tomorrow People’ is set in 1976 and probably felt a long way off at the time. The space program has flourished and there is a base on the Moon. There have been two expeditions to Mars. The Russian one vanished without a trace. The American two-man team returns with one of them missing. Johnny Wendt’s log has 4 pages missing and despite his attempts to find his fellow astronaut, Doug Laughlin, failed and returned alone. Intensive tests could reveal nothing more and Wendt was returned to Earth, finally having a relationship with famed dancer Lisa Trovi, who suddenly takes up an interest in ESP.

I divided reading this book into reading half one day and finishing the next and it felt like it was two stories. The second dealing with correspondence and the lack of co-operation from Wendt. There was only a hint of what happened on Mars at the end.

In today’s market, we would see this as dropping the thread and then having to complete to contract. The writer provides the words and up to the publisher to market it based on a name commodity. In many respects and will be proven when I’ve pulled one of Merril’s anthologies (I think I have finally located one) is I think she was happier to switch to short form writing, not needing to write novels to put her plots across.

Of the Merril novels I’ve read in the past month, this one showed some promise but let down overall. It must have done reasonably well at the time considering the number of different covers the story had in release so maybe it’s just me.

GF Willmetts

April 2022

(pub: Pyramid Books, 1960. 192 page paperback. Price:  ISBN: F-806)

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Category: Books, Scifi


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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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