The Wyndham-Herbert balance. 

So, since muggins here forgot to cloud save the latest version of The Delta Children before coming away to the deep south, I’m stuck blogging instead -aren’t you lucky! 

I mentioned on my previous blog that one of the authors I was aiming to influence the book I was John Wyndham. One of my formative Cbooks when I was young – thanks to the influence of my dad – was Day of The Triffids. You wouldn’t think a book about giant man eating walking plants with poisonous stingers would have such an influence on my life, but it was the first time I read sci-fi that didn’t deal with spaceships, and big star battles… Anything outside the traditions trek/loowars pantheon really. 

Wyndham’s work is… Very English. It’s almost quaint, by modern reading, in some of the ways it phrases things but its still a relatively subtle way of writing that focusses much more on interpersonal relationships and the way the characters work with each other. I’m not trying to make big sweeping statements about governments or write metaphors for great historical events, I merely want to tell a story. Admittedly, now my characters are out in the world, I’ll have to flesh out the politics of their version of Britain. 

On the other side of the influential writers coin, there’s James Herbert. Herbert was very much a horror writer, with books brimming with gore, action and sex. As a 15 year old lad, I’m sure can see what interested me about them. But the other side of Herbert’s books was his use of perspective. He frequently left his main characters sides in order to spend a few pages with bit part characters who fleshed out the world, almost like little short flash fiction pieces inside the overall context of his books. It was a technique I played around with in Order of Britain: Stone of Madness, and its tremendously fun to use. 

So there we have it, two very different styles, and I intend to be influenced by both of the. Tea and biscuit horror, as it were. 

Ironically, I started this post on Tuesday, but since my little sister was getting married in the middle of it all, I kind of got caught up on other things. Congratulations to Joe and Becky! 


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