Friday, November 14, 2008

John Wyndham as John Beynon

John Wyndham was the subject of the very first cover gallery that appeared on Bear Alley, way back in November 2006. That time I concentrated on various Penguin editions that I have on the shelf. This time round, it's the later series that reprinted Wyndham's early stories and novels, many of which appeared under the name John Beynon. Wyndham (or John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, to give him his full name) had died in 1969 with only one posthumous novel to hand (Web, which was eventually published in 1979).

The Secret People had originally appeared in 1935 and the reprint was incredibly successful. Two collections of early short stories followed (I have a feeling that Walter Gillings was involved, although my memory may be playing tricks); a third followed six years later along with a reprint of another early novel, Stowaway to Mars, published as Planet Plane in 1936 but originally serialised as "Stowaway to Mars" in Passing Show; the series had also been printed in the boy's paper Modern Wonder with some editorial tampering to replace the female stowaway, Joan, with a boy, which meant a lot of further editing to remove the fact that Joan later falls pregnant in the original serial and dies in childbirth.

Unrelated to this series, Angus Wells compiled The Best of John Wyndham for Sphere in 1973, later split into two volumes in 1975 and 1977.

The Secret People
Coronet 0-340-15834-4, 1972. Cover by Chris Foss
Coronet, 1977. Cover by Colin Hay (not pictured)
New English Library 0-450-42014-0 [11th imp], 1987.

Wanderers of Time
Coronet 0-340-17306-8, 1973. Cover by Chris Foss
Coronet, 1977. Cover by Colin Hay
New English Library 0-450-42015-9, 1987 (not pictured)

Sleepers of Mars
Coronet 0-340-17326-2, 1973. Cover by Colin Hay?
New English Library 0-450-42023-X, 1987. (not pictured)

Exiles on Asperus
Coronet 0-340-24046-6, 1979. Cover by Colin Hay?

Stowaway to Mars
Coronet 0-340-15835-2, 1972. Cover by Colin Hay
New English Library 0-450-42024-8, 1987. (not pictured)

The Best of John Wyndham
Sphere 9-7221-9369-6, 1973.

The Best of John Wyndham 1932-1949
Sphere 0-7221-9373-4, Oct 1975; Feb 1977.

The Best of John Wyndham 1951-1960
Sphere 0-7221-9374-2, Feb 1977.

(* With thanks to Richard Sheaf who supplied a number of the above scans.)


  1. Love the Wyndham gallery. makes me want to read them all over again. My favs are those old stories like "Exies of Asperus" which its cool bat people or "Invisible Monster" with its unseen mouths eating away at people. Much creepier than the Invisible Man.


  2. Missing is 'Sleepers of Mars' Coronet 1973?

  3. Not missing. It's the fifth picture down.



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