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"Who Goes There?" The novella that formed the basis of "The Thing" is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient, frozen body of a crash-landed alien. The creature revives with terrifying results, shape-shifting to assume the exact form of animal and man, alike. Paranoia ensues as a band of frightened men work to disc "Who Goes There?" The novella that formed the basis of "The Thing" is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient, frozen body of a crash-landed alien. The creature revives with terrifying results, shape-shifting to assume the exact form of animal and man, alike. Paranoia ensues as a band of frightened men work to discern friend from foe, and destroy the menace before it challenges all of humanity! The story, hailed as "one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written" by the SF Writers of America, is best known to fans as THE THING, as it was the basis of Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World in 1951, and John Carpenter's The Thing in 1982. With a new Introduction by William F. Nolan, author of Logan's Run, and his never-before-published, suspenseful Screen Treatment written for Universal Studios in 1978, this is a must-have edition for scifi and horror fans!


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"Who Goes There?" The novella that formed the basis of "The Thing" is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient, frozen body of a crash-landed alien. The creature revives with terrifying results, shape-shifting to assume the exact form of animal and man, alike. Paranoia ensues as a band of frightened men work to disc "Who Goes There?" The novella that formed the basis of "The Thing" is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient, frozen body of a crash-landed alien. The creature revives with terrifying results, shape-shifting to assume the exact form of animal and man, alike. Paranoia ensues as a band of frightened men work to discern friend from foe, and destroy the menace before it challenges all of humanity! The story, hailed as "one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written" by the SF Writers of America, is best known to fans as THE THING, as it was the basis of Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World in 1951, and John Carpenter's The Thing in 1982. With a new Introduction by William F. Nolan, author of Logan's Run, and his never-before-published, suspenseful Screen Treatment written for Universal Studios in 1978, this is a must-have edition for scifi and horror fans!

30 review for Who Goes There?

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen M

    "The huge blowtorch McReady had brought coughed solemnly. Abruptly it rumbled disapproval throatily. Then it laughed gurglingly. . ." Yikes. "The huge blowtorch McReady had brought coughed solemnly. Abruptly it rumbled disapproval throatily. Then it laughed gurglingly. . ." Yikes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    I first read "Who Goes There?," by the well-known Golden Age SF editor John W. Campbell, as a young adult and I have a lot of residual affection for it, and that's clearly coloring my 4 star rating for it. It's gloriously, unabashedly pulp SF and it's from 1938, so just know that going in. Once you get over the occasionally deep purple prose and the fact that there are only male scientists at this camp, there's a great story here. This is a old-fashioned SF monsters-from-space horror story about I first read "Who Goes There?," by the well-known Golden Age SF editor John W. Campbell, as a young adult and I have a lot of residual affection for it, and that's clearly coloring my 4 star rating for it. It's gloriously, unabashedly pulp SF and it's from 1938, so just know that going in. Once you get over the occasionally deep purple prose and the fact that there are only male scientists at this camp, there's a great story here. This is a old-fashioned SF monsters-from-space horror story about a malevolent, incredibly dangerous space alien that terrorizes an isolated scientist's camp in Antarctica. An expedition of scientists finds a spaceship encased in ice that's probably been there for millennia. One deep-frozen alien is outside of the ship; it looks like there are a few more inside. In attempting to bust the door of the spaceship open and get inside, the scientists set off an explosion that burns up the magnesium-hulled ship. Oops! But there's still the one alien, and after some heated debate ("But it looks so EEEVIL!!!" "How do you know? It's ALIEN! That may be a peaceful, friendly expression on its face.") Blair, the pathologist, successfully lobbies to thaw it for examination. No one figures that it would have any real life to it after its long freeze. But of course, it does. And now something's on the loose and no one is quite sure what it is or how to deal with it. The claustrophobic feel of the isolated camp, the cold and ice everywhere, and not knowing which of your friends and colleagues have been taken over by the alien (writhing tentacles alert!), thinking you're going to be next... Whew! I can see why it's been made into a film three times. The image of a few shrieking drops of blood(view spoiler)[, shrinking away from a hot needle (hide spoiler)] , is permanently imprinted on my brain. It's short on characterization but the plot makes up for it, IMO. Free online here at Baen.com. Read when you're in the mood for some good old-fashioned SF horror! Side note: I reread this classic SF novella to get a better basis for understanding and appreciating the 2016 Nebula award-nominated short story "Things With Beards." As it turns out, the short story is based much more on the 1982 John Carpenter movie "The Thing" (with Kurt Russell), which is only loosely based on this novella, but a quick read of Wikipedia's summary of that movie gave me the missing info I needed (mostly about the way the movie ends).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Charles van Buren

    The classic sci-fi tale which inspired so many movies, TV programs, stories and novels This review is from the 99¢ Kindle edition described herein: ASIN: B08WKXPF6L Publication date: February 13, 2021 Language: English File size: 574 KB Text-to-Speech: Enabled Screen Reader: Supported Enhanced typesetting: Enabled X-Ray: Not Enabled Word Wise: Enabled Print length: 68 pages Lending: Not Enabled This is the sci-fi story which inspired Howard Hawk's 1951 movie, The Thing From Another World, John Carpenter's 19 The classic sci-fi tale which inspired so many movies, TV programs, stories and novels This review is from the 99¢ Kindle edition described herein: ASIN: B08WKXPF6L Publication date: February 13, 2021 Language: English File size: 574 KB Text-to-Speech: Enabled Screen Reader: Supported Enhanced typesetting: Enabled X-Ray: Not Enabled Word Wise: Enabled Print length: 68 pages Lending: Not Enabled This is the sci-fi story which inspired Howard Hawk's 1951 movie, The Thing From Another World, John Carpenter's 1982 movie The Thing and helped inspire the 2011 prequel also called The Thing. None of those movies actually tell John Campbell's story in full. Amazon reviewer James Girasa wrote, "If you took the first part/act of 'The Thing from Another World (1951)' and the middle part/act of the 'The Thing (1982) and combined them, the story would be very similar to this novella by John Campbell. " Who Goes Therer.was written by Campbell under the name Don A. Stuart. It was published in the August 1938 edition of Astounding Science Fiction. It has seldom if ever been out print and it has never been that hard to find a copy. There were two versions of the novella published in three or four different magazines. In 2018, a novel version was found among Campbell's papers. That version was subsequently published as Frozen Hell. Classic sci-fi horror. Written in 1938 so no women among those trapped at an Antarctic research station in the winter with a deadly alien. Much more frightening and intense that most of the work inspired by it. Many critics believe that one of those works was Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This particular 99¢ Kindle edition has the cover and the text. No introduction. No explanations. No indication as to which version of the story this is.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Who Goes There?, by John W. Campbell Jr., is the novella on which "The Thing", the 1982 film directed by John Carpenter, is based. It was first published in the August 1938 edition of the "Astounding Science Fiction" magazine, under the pen name Don A. Stuart. The story is set in Antarctica, where an isolated group of scientific researchers find the body of an alien creature in the ice. They realise that its spaceship must have crashed there 20 million years before. With misgivings, they proceed Who Goes There?, by John W. Campbell Jr., is the novella on which "The Thing", the 1982 film directed by John Carpenter, is based. It was first published in the August 1938 edition of the "Astounding Science Fiction" magazine, under the pen name Don A. Stuart. The story is set in Antarctica, where an isolated group of scientific researchers find the body of an alien creature in the ice. They realise that its spaceship must have crashed there 20 million years before. With misgivings, they proceed to thaw the creature, which then disappears. The premise of the story is a good one, and there are lots of possibilities for tension and paranoia, all of which Campbell tries to create. However it is now sadly dated and feels extremely overwritten. Passages which should be chilling and horrific come across to a modern reader as unbelievable. In its worst excesses it is so over-the-top as to be funny, "They haven't seen those three red eyes and that blue hair like crawling worms. Crawling - damn, it's crawling there in the ice right now!" "The broken haft of the bronze ice-axe was still buried in the queer skull. Three mad hate-filled eyes blazed up with a living fire, bright as fresh-spilled blood, from a face ringed with a writhing, loathsome nest of worms, blue, mobile worms that crawled where hair should grow -" "The last I saw the split skull was oozing green goo, like a squashed caterpillar...wandering around with a split skull and brain oozing out...has anybody seen it coming over here?...About four feet tall - three red eyes - brains oozing out?" (presumably this last was in case anyone had spotted a different scary alien and mistook it for the first one...) The fact that the story has been filmed several times shows that there is a good basic storyline; material for a horror film. The idea that the alien could mutate or "morph" into any other creature, is fodder for many imitations since. "Each of us with an eye on the other, to make sure he doesn't do something - peculiar." Who is the imposter? Who can you trust? And who is the alien? It fed on the paranoia of the time between the two World Wars. Here is a slightly less "pulpy" quote, "The cells are made of protoplasm, their character determined by the nucleus. Only in this creature, the cell nuclei can control those cells at will...shape its own cells to imitate them exactly...This is a member of a supremely intelligent race, a race that has learned the deepest secrets of biology, and turned them to its use." In the end though, this story does not live up to its expectations. Perhaps as modern readers we are now too cynical to enjoy pure pulp. Just over forty years ago, in 1973, it was voted one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written, by the Science Fiction Writers of America. But that time was slightly closer to when it was written than to the present, and the world has seen a lot of changes since. John W. Campbell Jr., himself was a revered and influential figure in American science fiction. He was the editor of "Astounding Science Fiction" as well as a contributor, from just before this story until his death. He is generally credited with shaping what is called the "Golden Age" of Science Fiction. Isaac Asimov said that Campbell dominated the field completely for the first ten years of his editorship, calling him "the most powerful force in science fiction ever." Perhaps he should be remembered for his editorship, and this story remain firmly in its classic pulp magazine past.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Almost every 'we are trapped and a monster is killing us one by one and now we are turning on each other' story or movie is indebted to this novella - highly recommended! Almost every 'we are trapped and a monster is killing us one by one and now we are turning on each other' story or movie is indebted to this novella - highly recommended!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    The sole reason for wanting to read this book was for the titular novella Who Goes There? - most commonly known for the movie adaptation ‘The Thing’. I was pleasantly surprised that this edition also included 6 other short stories. Who Goes There? is the main focus as it’s the first in the collection, amassing 75 pages it’s close to a third of the whole books page count. It’s certainly the strongest and most memorable story. Even though it’s quite telling by the prose that this was written in the 1 The sole reason for wanting to read this book was for the titular novella Who Goes There? - most commonly known for the movie adaptation ‘The Thing’. I was pleasantly surprised that this edition also included 6 other short stories. Who Goes There? is the main focus as it’s the first in the collection, amassing 75 pages it’s close to a third of the whole books page count. It’s certainly the strongest and most memorable story. Even though it’s quite telling by the prose that this was written in the 1930’s, I kept thinking it was so advanced for the time. Science Fiction has borrowed a lot from this story, not only the scientists deciding to release the creature from the ice would be a good idea (spoilers - it wasn’t!!) but the way the way the alien could transform was incredibly creative. The other 6 stories were so much shorter and in truth rather uninteresting, I felt the best way to look at them as additional bonus material. I’m so glad that the main story lived up to my expectations (Carpenter’s 1982 is very faithful) and reflects why I rated this collection so highly.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I can't understate how terribly this thing was written. While the premise was interesting enough to create a classic in the hands of someone with a talent for the craft (I'm looking at you, John Carpenter), this original story fails on all levels. The characters are flat and interchangeable, changing their minds in mid sentence and wandering through tangential info dumps and speculations that come out of nowhere. Even stage direction is so lacking that you can't tell what's happening. People app I can't understate how terribly this thing was written. While the premise was interesting enough to create a classic in the hands of someone with a talent for the craft (I'm looking at you, John Carpenter), this original story fails on all levels. The characters are flat and interchangeable, changing their minds in mid sentence and wandering through tangential info dumps and speculations that come out of nowhere. Even stage direction is so lacking that you can't tell what's happening. People appear and disappear from scenes, dropping in and out at the whims of the author between snippets of indecipherable action. The story could be an excellent teaching tool in any class on fiction writing as its necropsy could likely identify all the horrible mistakes any budding writer could make. I'm flabbergasted.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    A: We found an unknown monster frozen in ice for 20 million years. B: Let's defrost it! A: Wouldn't the thing come to life or some unknown pathogen wipe out us all? B: Nah, worked for the snakes. C: Not on my kitchen table! A: Okay. *monster comes to life and rampages* B: Hit it with human-immune rabbit blood! A: AAARGH! *dies* C: How do you know that the blood is a good indicator if one of us is a monster? B: I'm a scientist, it will work. C: Isn't assuming things about alien life what got us into this me A: We found an unknown monster frozen in ice for 20 million years. B: Let's defrost it! A: Wouldn't the thing come to life or some unknown pathogen wipe out us all? B: Nah, worked for the snakes. C: Not on my kitchen table! A: Okay. *monster comes to life and rampages* B: Hit it with human-immune rabbit blood! A: AAARGH! *dies* C: How do you know that the blood is a good indicator if one of us is a monster? B: I'm a scientist, it will work. C: Isn't assuming things about alien life what got us into this mess in the first place? *everyone dies*

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    The premise behind Howard Hawks' 1951 film "The Thing From Another World" -- one of my all time favorite films (not the colorized travesty). However, if I had read this novella first, I probably would've hated it. The film does not follow the story very closely but it does keep the skeleton of the story. This is one of these classic premises. A group of people isolated and trapped with a killer. Yet, they don't know who the killer is! They can't trust each other, yet they have to trust each other The premise behind Howard Hawks' 1951 film "The Thing From Another World" -- one of my all time favorite films (not the colorized travesty). However, if I had read this novella first, I probably would've hated it. The film does not follow the story very closely but it does keep the skeleton of the story. This is one of these classic premises. A group of people isolated and trapped with a killer. Yet, they don't know who the killer is! They can't trust each other, yet they have to trust each other to survive. I listened to this in one afternoon and loved it. For a book written in 1938, it really holds up. Even the science is not (too) dated and the plot is riveting and it is nicely paced.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David

    One of the things that surprised me about this 1938 Hugo-winner was its conformity to modern science. I am not enough of a historian to always remember at what point people knew what facts, so I was a little surprised at the references to atomic power, and fairly advanced discussions of biochemistry. Physicists or biologists would probably find some fault with the technical details in this novella, but it reads as quite a plausible, relatively "hard" SF story given that the premise is a shapeshi One of the things that surprised me about this 1938 Hugo-winner was its conformity to modern science. I am not enough of a historian to always remember at what point people knew what facts, so I was a little surprised at the references to atomic power, and fairly advanced discussions of biochemistry. Physicists or biologists would probably find some fault with the technical details in this novella, but it reads as quite a plausible, relatively "hard" SF story given that the premise is a shapeshifting alien being thawed after spending 20 million years frozen in Antarctica. This novella is better known, of course, by the movie based on it, John Carpenter's The Thing, which was a remake of 1951's The Thing from Another World. Characterization is sparse, as is typical of 1930s sci-fi. The team of scientists and research camp staff are not much more than names and roles — which isn't much of a fault in a story where most of the characters are expendable. What's notable is how much Campbell does convey in his sparse descriptions. Vance Norris moved angrily. He was comparatively short in this gathering of big men, some five feet eight, and his stocky, powerful build tended to make him seem shorter. His black hair was crisp and hard, like short, steel wires, and his eyes were the gray of fractured steel. If McReady was a man of bronze, Norris was all steel. His movements, his thoughts, his whole bearing had the quick, hard impulse of a steel spring. His nerves were steel—hard, quick acting—swift corroding. After finding an alien spaceship that was generating a magnetic field strong enough to distort their compasses from miles away, they bring back a frozen thing in a block of ice. Obviously, such a remarkable scientific discovery cannot just be left alone - they make plans to bring it back to New York. Which means thawing it out. "How the hell can these birds tell what they are voting on? They haven't seen those three red eyes and that blue hair like crawling worms. Crawling—damn, it's crawling there in the ice right now! "Nothing Earth ever spawned had the unutterable sublimation of devastating wrath that thing let loose in its face when it looked around its frozen desolation twenty million years ago. Mad? It was mad clear through—searing, blistering mad! "Hell, I've had bad dreams ever since I looked at those three red eyes. Nightmares. Dreaming the thing thawed out and came to life—that it wasn't dead, or even wholly unconscious all those twenty million years, but just slowed, waiting—waiting. You'll dream, too, while that damned thing that Earth wouldn't own is dripping, dripping in the Cosmos House tonight. Obviously, this is not going to end well. Despite the biologist's confident assurances that the thing couldn't possibly still be alive after being frozen for 20 million years, they are soon playing a game of "Monster, monster, who's the monster?" This story reminded me quite a bit of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness — not just because of the Antarctic setting, but also the stark terror of ordinary, rationalist-minded men facing alien, cosmic horror. Campbell did a lot more with psychological suspense, though, as the survivors eye one another knowing that one or more of them is actually an alien. A classic for good reason, and the remote, Antarctic setting, not changed all that much in the decades since, means it hasn't aged too badly.

  11. 4 out of 5

    11811 (Eleven)

    State of the art sci-fi horror.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Loved this. A very well done sci-fi/horror novella that definitely stands the test of time. Love the Carpenter movie too. The 2011 movie version sucked.

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)

    Okay, maybe to some, this is an obscure short story from an obscure writer better known for thriller science fiction than long involved novels. Or maybe, he's a household name in household's other than my own. Either way, I really liked this story. It's short. It's scary. It has a creative villain that is, perhaps, ahead of his time. At the heart of it it evokes man's fear of the unknown and pits his instinct for survival against his desire to understand the universe around him. Above all, it's Okay, maybe to some, this is an obscure short story from an obscure writer better known for thriller science fiction than long involved novels. Or maybe, he's a household name in household's other than my own. Either way, I really liked this story. It's short. It's scary. It has a creative villain that is, perhaps, ahead of his time. At the heart of it it evokes man's fear of the unknown and pits his instinct for survival against his desire to understand the universe around him. Above all, it's a fun read. Five stars with a short review. Not a first, but, please, don't come to expect it. I'll be properly wordy and verbose for the next review. I promise. Oh, and by the way (view spoiler)[ The second movie "The Thing," based on this story, staring Kurt Russel was more true to the book than the original movie in black and white staring James Arness and Denver Pyle. Yet it was such a great movie wasn't it? (hide spoiler)] I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did. No warnings needed. This is suitable for anyone able to read and comprehend the words, there is some violence and people get hurt in creative ways, but, generally, there is nothing here so shocking we need to protect anyone from it. It gets five stars from me, rather than four, because I loved that first movie so much, how ever much it may or may not have strayed from the original story. Another good use of $0.99 for those who own Kindle.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    3.5* An Antarctic research crew finds unfriendly alien, kills it only to find it can't really be killed. I love the movie The Thing, a fantastic sci fi horror that oozed paranoia and gore. This just didn't live up to the movie. It was still an interesting read but I didn't get any closure at the end, the flow of the book felt stilted and dialogue forced. There was also too many characters to concentrate on in such a short read and it got a bit confusing trying to keep everyone straight. Enjoyable e 3.5* An Antarctic research crew finds unfriendly alien, kills it only to find it can't really be killed. I love the movie The Thing, a fantastic sci fi horror that oozed paranoia and gore. This just didn't live up to the movie. It was still an interesting read but I didn't get any closure at the end, the flow of the book felt stilted and dialogue forced. There was also too many characters to concentrate on in such a short read and it got a bit confusing trying to keep everyone straight. Enjoyable enough especially nearer the end but overall disappointing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Very, very good - surprisingly so for me, since I don't typically care for older sci-fi (published in 1938). This is the original story The Thing was based on. I have always loved that 1982 movie, starring Kurt Russell. The special effects seem cheesy now, but when it first came out it scared the bejeezus out of little me. The only thing the movie did better was the ending, which was terrifying in an I-can't-imagine-what-I'd-do-if-it-was-me situation: (view spoiler)[Kurt Russell and Keith David a Very, very good - surprisingly so for me, since I don't typically care for older sci-fi (published in 1938). This is the original story The Thing was based on. I have always loved that 1982 movie, starring Kurt Russell. The special effects seem cheesy now, but when it first came out it scared the bejeezus out of little me. The only thing the movie did better was the ending, which was terrifying in an I-can't-imagine-what-I'd-do-if-it-was-me situation: (view spoiler)[Kurt Russell and Keith David are outdoors watching their compound burn, sharing a bottle of whiskey. The wind is howling, the fire won't last, and they both know the only way be sure the world is safe is to make sure the other doesn't escape, and let the cold kill them. (hide spoiler)] The very best mysteries/thrillers center around "the locked room" - an impossible situation wherein a person is clearly murdered with no obvious way for a killer to get in or out. Who Goes There? extrapolates and then twists this device by trapping 30 or so scientists and staff on a remote Antarctic station with no one coming or leaving for months yet. When the scientists discover a ship buried in 20 million-year-old ice and an inhuman corpse, the team biologist concludes that it's extraterrestrial. Although the team takes steps to isolate the remains, the damage has already been done. Removing it from the ice allowed the thawing process to begin, and its cells begin to reanimate. To the team's horror, they discover that the alien's most incredible ability isn't surviving eons in ice - it's the ability to kill and then mimic any life form it comes in contact with, even speech and behavioral patterns. This shortish story of only 250 pages really packs a lot into a little. Some of the men emerge as cool-headed leaders; others succumb to fear and insanity - or are they just pretending?? This terrific gem leaves you constantly guessing as to who or what is as it seems. The science isn't ridiculous (until the very, very end), which is a huge checkmark in the pros column. A perfectly creepy read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    A seminal sci-fi classic, this is a chilling first contact story set amidst the desolation of Antarctica and a seriously taut, harrowing thriller. First published in 1938, the story holds up amazingly well and it's influence can be seen broadly on modern sci-fi, not least of all on the Alien/Aliens film series. Whether you've seen John Carpenter's classic film adaptation, The Thing, or any of the several others, this is worth a read. It's short and packs a punch! A seminal sci-fi classic, this is a chilling first contact story set amidst the desolation of Antarctica and a seriously taut, harrowing thriller. First published in 1938, the story holds up amazingly well and it's influence can be seen broadly on modern sci-fi, not least of all on the Alien/Aliens film series. Whether you've seen John Carpenter's classic film adaptation, The Thing, or any of the several others, this is worth a read. It's short and packs a punch!

  17. 5 out of 5

    S.P. Aruna

    This is a landmark book, having inspired 3 film adaptations and perhaps (going out on a limb here) gave rise to the idea in Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The author, John W. Campbell Jr, is said to have influenced sci-fi writers from Asimov Isaac to Robert A. Heinlein. But with all this historical context, I have to say I was still disappointed. If I was limited to one word to describe this novella, I would say 'disjointed,' and this includes the dialogue. It was hard to follow wh This is a landmark book, having inspired 3 film adaptations and perhaps (going out on a limb here) gave rise to the idea in Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The author, John W. Campbell Jr, is said to have influenced sci-fi writers from Asimov Isaac to Robert A. Heinlein. But with all this historical context, I have to say I was still disappointed. If I was limited to one word to describe this novella, I would say 'disjointed,' and this includes the dialogue. It was hard to follow what was happening; sometimes I had to go back a few pages to see if I missed something. Crucial events are not described, but jumped over. There is no clear account of how the alien life form managed to get a hold of and convert many of its victims. Too bad. Instead of being scared, I was confused.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    I enjoy reading a classic SiFi story when I can to see how some of the themes and concepts of the genre got started and how some of the older writers used, and in many cases invented them. I am always impressed with these early stories when I think of the time they were written in and how they must have seemed so fresh and new to a reader of that era. This was an interesting read because the story focuses really more on the people trapped with the monster rather than the monster itself. Nice rea I enjoy reading a classic SiFi story when I can to see how some of the themes and concepts of the genre got started and how some of the older writers used, and in many cases invented them. I am always impressed with these early stories when I think of the time they were written in and how they must have seemed so fresh and new to a reader of that era. This was an interesting read because the story focuses really more on the people trapped with the monster rather than the monster itself. Nice read overall. recommended

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Shea

    Being that THE THING is my favorite horror movie, I'm shocked it took me so long to read the novella that inspired it. I was most surprised that Carpenter's version was the one to more closely match the book. Though the dialogue is stilted and far from normal conversation, the all too terrifying groundwork is there, as is the fear and isolation. I was lucky enough to snag a yellowed, Dell paperback from mucho decades ago loaded with Campbell short stories. Being that THE THING is my favorite horror movie, I'm shocked it took me so long to read the novella that inspired it. I was most surprised that Carpenter's version was the one to more closely match the book. Though the dialogue is stilted and far from normal conversation, the all too terrifying groundwork is there, as is the fear and isolation. I was lucky enough to snag a yellowed, Dell paperback from mucho decades ago loaded with Campbell short stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Five stars for a story ahead of its time. Writing quality?... there are enough adverbs to sink a battleship. Poor writing typically draws harsh criticism out of me, but when I consider the multiple themes and ideas packed into this little jewel of a story, and put it into the context of its time, it is superb.

  21. 5 out of 5

    TraceyL

    A great, short science fiction thriller which inspired many movie and TV show adaptations - my favorite being the X-Files episode "Ice." I thought it was very good example of classic science fiction. Worth the read. A great, short science fiction thriller which inspired many movie and TV show adaptations - my favorite being the X-Files episode "Ice." I thought it was very good example of classic science fiction. Worth the read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    The premise of John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There" is so pervasive in the science-fiction and fantasy genre (alien can look shift to look and sound like any member of a small, isolate group of people) that many readers will find it difficult to put those notions aside and really dig into what is one of the most entertaining and influential novellas of the genre. Part of that is due to the strong influence of the two movie adaptations of the work, both known as "The Thing." The other is that ever The premise of John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There" is so pervasive in the science-fiction and fantasy genre (alien can look shift to look and sound like any member of a small, isolate group of people) that many readers will find it difficult to put those notions aside and really dig into what is one of the most entertaining and influential novellas of the genre. Part of that is due to the strong influence of the two movie adaptations of the work, both known as "The Thing." The other is that every science-fiction or fantasy series worth its salt has done its own variation on the basic theme--who is the real person and who is the "monster" or "alien." And while it may take a moment or two to put aside all the various adaptations we've seen over the years and cast your mind back to a time before that particular aspect of the sci-fi genre was so pervasive, what you'll find with "Who Goes There?" is a compelling, fascinating and tense novella from one of the more overlooked early masters of the genre. The premise is very close to what we've seen in the famous John Carpenter version and the first season "X-Files" episode: a crew finds an alien trapped in ice in the Antarctic and thaws it out. The alien appears to be dead but it's soon revealed that it can take emulate the form of another person or animal, sewing seeds of mistrust among the various crew members as they try to determine who is alive and who might be the mysterious thing. The novella does have some differences in what the alien can do and how it can appear, but that doesn't make it any less compelling or interesting. The only point at which the novella strays a bit is during a long discussion of the scientific background of said alien, but that's more a product of the era this was written in than a real criticism of the work itself. "Who Goes There" is taut, riveting and a short read. The published version includes a proposed screenplay by author William Nolan that will interest fans of the various movie versions of the story. The audio version of the story is a solid translation of the story and it brings just the right atmosphere to this story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    The Behrg

    I've always loved the movie The Thing. As if the setting of Antarctica isn't scary enough, add a shape-shifting alien to the mix and double down on the scares with the caveat -- you can't trust anyone. It's always a worry when you go back to the source material of a project you love. Will it hold up? Will it be like you remembered? Or will it fall short of what you've no doubt built up within your own head? While writing has changed immensely since 1938 when this story was first released, I focus I've always loved the movie The Thing. As if the setting of Antarctica isn't scary enough, add a shape-shifting alien to the mix and double down on the scares with the caveat -- you can't trust anyone. It's always a worry when you go back to the source material of a project you love. Will it hold up? Will it be like you remembered? Or will it fall short of what you've no doubt built up within your own head? While writing has changed immensely since 1938 when this story was first released, I focused more on the story mechanics and general sense of mood and atmosphere than how many adverbs might be proliferating within the story. (And let's be honest, this is what I loved about this story idea in the first place). Thrilled to say not only does this hold up, but I'm baffled that an idea like this could have been written almost 80 years ago. For a short story it's incredibly developed, and feels like just a part of a much greater whole. But its the sense of paranoia and dread, that subtle tickle along the back of your spine, that makes this story what it is (and is why it's been translated to the screen so many times). I could have used a stronger ending, and considering the material there were so many places to go with it, but overall this was as enthralling now as I imagine it was back in the 30's. A solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Radiantflux

    81st book for 2019. While I preferred the 1982 movie The Thing with Kurt Russell—somehow the stupid things they did in the book, accidentally destroying the alien spaceship, thawing out the alien without proper supervision, seemed much more reasonable in the movie—it was a pleasure to read the original novella by Campbell. Also the novella made me realize how rooted this story is in the mindset of US post-War communist paranoia—perhaps obvious in retrospect—accounting no doubt for its enduring su 81st book for 2019. While I preferred the 1982 movie The Thing with Kurt Russell—somehow the stupid things they did in the book, accidentally destroying the alien spaceship, thawing out the alien without proper supervision, seemed much more reasonable in the movie—it was a pleasure to read the original novella by Campbell. Also the novella made me realize how rooted this story is in the mindset of US post-War communist paranoia—perhaps obvious in retrospect—accounting no doubt for its enduring success. 3-stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Cross

    I really enjoyed this but I felt like things missing like it should have been longer , missing plot points so I went online and did some searching - ive just finished reading who goes there and just found out online that an original manuscript buy the author was found and re published containing 40 or so pages cut from who goes there with and original opening to the story its available as ebook /kindle and its called Frozen Hell ( obviously the same author) just purchased it for £5 , it is avail I really enjoyed this but I felt like things missing like it should have been longer , missing plot points so I went online and did some searching - ive just finished reading who goes there and just found out online that an original manuscript buy the author was found and re published containing 40 or so pages cut from who goes there with and original opening to the story its available as ebook /kindle and its called Frozen Hell ( obviously the same author) just purchased it for £5 , it is available as book on ebay but didn't feel like spending £200/£300 on it , I must say after reading who goes there it felt like things were missing , that's a post I put on one of my reading groups . im sure il give frozen hell more stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Avinash

    3.5 Stars actually This novella is a milestone in sci-fi genre. Three movie adaptations (in 1951, 1982 & 2011) and then a novel based on a 1982 movie are more than enough to prove that. In fact the concept and settings have been adopted and explored so many times (with certain improvisation here and there) over the last 8 decades that unfortunately the story has lost its charm quite a bit. A group of scientists discover an alien spaceship frozen in Antarctica, where it crashed twenty million years 3.5 Stars actually This novella is a milestone in sci-fi genre. Three movie adaptations (in 1951, 1982 & 2011) and then a novel based on a 1982 movie are more than enough to prove that. In fact the concept and settings have been adopted and explored so many times (with certain improvisation here and there) over the last 8 decades that unfortunately the story has lost its charm quite a bit. A group of scientists discover an alien spaceship frozen in Antarctica, where it crashed twenty million years ago. They try to recover it but unfortunately the ship gets destroyed in the process, though they recover an alien body. They take it in their camp and start researching. They find that The Thing can assume the shape, memories, and personality of any living thing it has devoured. The thing escapes but the crew discovers and kills it. But now they become suspicious whether the creature has reproduced before it was killed. If yes then who in the station may be another alien? Most dangerous scenario was if such a creature was allowed to escape, it could destroy and replace all creatures on Earth without anyone realizing it. What follows is utter paranoia and terror. Every member of the crew becomes afraid and full of doubt. They have no idea as to which one of them and how many of them are alien in disguise. The events after that are mysterious and also the climax lives up to expectations. I loved the way writer expressed so many emotions in limited pages, most passionate of them being urged to fight and save the humanity even if you have to sacrifice yourselves. It’s a very short read and you should spare time for this even if you have watched / read a lot of similar things because this is one of those initial creations which became the Genesis of all of this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adriana (Mea) Gutierrez

    Who Goes There? is the tale of a research group discovering a foreign “thing” which has been frozen in an ice block. They have to decide what to do with the Thing- do they melt it, cast it back where it came from, call for help? The research team which is composed of an extremely smart group of individuals: biologist, physicist, aviation mechanic, meteorologist, etc. who each bring unique theories to the table. You could not have a more intelligent group taking on the world’s most frighting crea Who Goes There? is the tale of a research group discovering a foreign “thing” which has been frozen in an ice block. They have to decide what to do with the Thing- do they melt it, cast it back where it came from, call for help? The research team which is composed of an extremely smart group of individuals: biologist, physicist, aviation mechanic, meteorologist, etc. who each bring unique theories to the table. You could not have a more intelligent group taking on the world’s most frighting creature. I absolutely loved Cambell’s eerie choice of words, the frozen wasteland setting of Antarctica, the intelligent and realistic characters, and of course the concept of a monster so horrifying, it can only be described as- THE THING! Format: I listened to this through Audiobook and the narrator (Steve Cooper) did an excellent job of differentiating the characters through diverse voice impressions. In my version, William F. Nolan (director Logan’s Run) narrates his own introduction where he gives a short history of the book and its vast influence on the sci-fi book/movie genre. Keep in mind that while it is short, it is dialogue heavy book with many characters that are sometimes difficult to keep track of. Recommendations: I would recommend this book to lovers of science fiction, horror and the unknown. It reminds me of Annihilation (Jeff Vandermeer) mixed with the Alien movies. It’s probably better for an experienced reader due to the dialogue formatting (teen and up). However, I imagine this would be great to read out loud over a campfire. While it is scary- I believe I would’ve loved this as a teenager at an overnight camp. I give this book 5 out of 5 Things.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    This a near perfect example of classic pulp-era science fiction. One-part horror, one-part science and one-part social commentary. The prose is fast and lose, sloppy even at points, but the underlying tension is palpable and the implications are devastatingly horrific. The premise is surprisingly simple, and the cultural ramifications are terrifying, it's a pity that Campbell made some rather silly blunders in the last couple chapters that undermine the science in the story. Or did he? What appe This a near perfect example of classic pulp-era science fiction. One-part horror, one-part science and one-part social commentary. The prose is fast and lose, sloppy even at points, but the underlying tension is palpable and the implications are devastatingly horrific. The premise is surprisingly simple, and the cultural ramifications are terrifying, it's a pity that Campbell made some rather silly blunders in the last couple chapters that undermine the science in the story. Or did he? What appears to be a "happy ending" may not be at all what it appears to be when you read those last few chapters while keeping in mind the earlier related established facts. Another really fascinating aspect of the novella, that always gets me is the social commentary on how easily a group of people imploded when faced with raising paranoia which has been validated by genuine xenophobia. This was of topical interest when the story was first published in 1938, and is still true today. And in a kind of surreal prescience, the story also forshadows the rise of infections like HIV which are transmuted via bodily fluids and close human contact. The Thing then becomes a metaphor for innumerable ways that our culture has become increasingly segregated, paranoid and xenophobic.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kirstine

    "No thing made by intelligent beings can tangle with the dead immensity of a planet's natural forces and survive." I didn't know this was a novel before I watched the movie. I might never have known, had it not been one of amazon's kindle daily deals. However, I do know and I've read it and I rather enjoyed it. The premise is brilliantly thought up. 37 men isolated on Antarctica with a shape-shifting alien. Who's real, who isn't? And for these men to battle something they don't know a thing about "No thing made by intelligent beings can tangle with the dead immensity of a planet's natural forces and survive." I didn't know this was a novel before I watched the movie. I might never have known, had it not been one of amazon's kindle daily deals. However, I do know and I've read it and I rather enjoyed it. The premise is brilliantly thought up. 37 men isolated on Antarctica with a shape-shifting alien. Who's real, who isn't? And for these men to battle something they don't know a thing about, well, it's interesting. Sadly, the atmosphere is hardly suspenseful and moments that could have been horrifying are overly scientific, removing any horror one might have felt. I admire that everything is explained so well, that these men seem like intellectuals - that they're not just a bunch of badass dudes huddled together in a ice-hut in the wild. They're scientists. However, it could have used a little more focus on the psychological strains these men must be under. Some place are very rushed as well, and even after re-reading some paragraphs I had a hard time figuring out what had actually just happened. Still, a good read, but I prefer the movie.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Janz

    Most of what needs to be said about this novella has already been said. It is indeed worth your time, and there are some flaws in it. I won't belabor these flaws but will instead point out one: the characters "speech" at each other rather than speak with each other. And the speeches they direct at one another do begin to take on a disconcerting uniformity. The voice of these speeches is florid, tangential, and a bit pretentious. So at times I found this to be distracting. Having said that, WHO G Most of what needs to be said about this novella has already been said. It is indeed worth your time, and there are some flaws in it. I won't belabor these flaws but will instead point out one: the characters "speech" at each other rather than speak with each other. And the speeches they direct at one another do begin to take on a disconcerting uniformity. The voice of these speeches is florid, tangential, and a bit pretentious. So at times I found this to be distracting. Having said that, WHO GOES THERE? deserves its status as a seminal piece of horror and science fiction. There's a reason why it inspired several films--it's an awesome and awe-inspiring concept. The setting is very well-drawn, and the claustrophobia that ensues once things begin to go bad is palpable. I was surprised at how similar the 1982 film THE THING was to this tale. Granted, I knew it was "inspired" by the tale, but John Carpenter and company really took pains to utilize all that made the novella so good. And it is really good. Not perfect, but certainly worth your time.

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