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The Tea Tray of the Triffids

Have you heard of The Day of the Triffids?

Yes, as a movie.
Yes, as a book.
Yes, but couldn't say what it is.
No, I haven't heard of it.

Have you read The Day of the Triffids?


I have no idea when I first heard of The Day of the Triffids. I wouldn't be able to swear it was before I moved back to the UK. More likely, it was when some movie version of it was released. In any event, it wasn't staple reading for me, growing up as a science fiction reader in the U.S. I'm reading it now, with momentum from a local SF book club.

I don't remember why, over dinner last night with BSFA people, I mentioned I was reading it, but it was apropos of Englishness. Someone said it must be full of tea. At that point, characters had only drunk whisky. I promised I'd report back on the tea situation, so here I am: after innumerable alcoholic beverages and some coffee (made with more alcohol and canned milk), two of the characters finally have cups of tea approximately a third of the way into the book.*

A newly-met American last night had never heard the title, somewhat to my delight. C. was shocked to hear that it was possible to have avoided it. He grew up in England, you see, where it is a staple of people who grow up reading SF. I often say I become unread whenever I move countries, but it was nice to have such a specific scrap of evidence to back me up on it.

* For a full Triffids tea report, you'll have to wait until I'm done reading it.


Jan. 28th, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
I suppose I was vaguely aware that someone had probably adapted it at some point (there must surely be a radio series somewhere), but the novel is also a real SF growing-up staple here - along with The Midwich Cuckoos (and the rest of Wyndham) and the John Christopher books (I don't know why they go together in my head, along with the radio serial of The War of the Worlds, but they do).

Funnily enough in the same part of my head I keep the Alan Garner omnibus I used to own (the Brisingamen books and Elidor; not the Owl Service, curiously), the Dark is Rising, and Tom's Midnight Garden. Apparently I have a particular place in my head for "influential British genre novels for children from the 1950s and 60s", which must say more about their remarkable style than about me, really.