Title: The Secret People
Author: John Wyndham
Page Count: 192
I’m not going to lie and pretend that there are no redeeming features to this book, because it’s pretty well-written and I think the ideas are fantastic. I guess that the problem is that I think Wyndham ended up focussing so heavily on the ideas that he forgot to work on the plot.
Basically, it’s set in the future (at the time of writing, and in the past for us), and it explores what happens when the Sahara desert is essentially terraformed to provide water. Oh, and a new race of sort of darkness-bound, sun-blind African pygmies is living there too, But then it was written in the 1930s when people were considerably less woke.
Really, I got the sense that this is Wyndham’s homage to H. G. Wells and his morlocks, and so because of that it does feel a little derivative. I’m also not really sure what Wyndham was trying to say here, but then it is also one of his earliest works and is even published under a pseudonym.