I whipped through this book in no time ! The title story ( and longest one ) is an extremely clever plot with a good sting in the tail. It deals with a nightmare future scenario in which men have become extinct and a pale pink, bland world is organised efficiently by women, most of whom have no knowledge of a previous second sex. The heroine, who has time-travelled to this distant time, is treated as a deviant who has been brainwashed by the male dominence of her own era. The story raises all sorts of interesting questions about stereotypes, prejudice, sexism and how history can be manipulated by later generations. A rattling good yarn !
The other stories are shorter but equally clever, especially the one about "alternative universes", a prescient tale that seems to be based on the "many worlds theory" of quantum mechanics ! A very profound and intriguing idea
The only story I didn't much like was the very short "Oh where, oh where is Peggy McRafferty ? " which wasn't science fiction and didn't seem to belong in this collection. But don't let that put you off - it's a tiny niggle, and all the other stories are brilliant
If you like Wyndham's novels, you will certainly enjoy this clever and thought-provoking collection
Virtually everyone will know about the Kraken,the Triffids, and the Cuckoos, but Wyndham was a prolific writer and most of his other works are well worth exploring. They include at least two books of short stories,this being one. The stories vary widely in tone and background,and several are set in the kind of 1950s-ish milieu that he evokes with affectionate precision. Very well worth a dabble.
This book features, for the main part, stories that deal in time travel and distortions in time and place. There are some real gems here, not least the title story `Consider her Ways'. In this tale, a young woman wakes to find herself in a futuristic nightmare in which men have become obsolete and women are divided into groups such as workers, servants, breeders and so on. From being an educated, articulate doctor in her own time, she has awoken in the body of a breeder, a gargantuan woman who is supposed to have no intelligence at all and no thoughts beyond eating and producing babies. Her nightmare is in trying to convince those around her that she is not insane and that she is not who they suppose her to be.
Each story is written in a gentle and thoughtful manner, very different from Wyndham's better-known tales such as Day of the Triffids or the Chrysalids. At a mere 192 pages, this is not a book that will keep you going for weeks and it isn't the greatest work ever produced, but it is entertaining nonetheless and certainly worth buying, particularly if you are a fan of classic science fiction.
The theme to most of the stories is distortions in time, and he has some intriguing and thought-provoking slants on this. The novella of the title, "Consider Her Ways", is about a woman who wakes up several years in the future to find herself as an obese brood-mare in a female-only world. This is genuinely disturbing in parts, but is let down by a bizarre sort of anti-feminist rant in the middle section of the story. Wyndham seemed to be concerned that if taken too far Women's Lib (as it would have been known in his time) would lead to such a state of affairs. It's an interesting idea as to what a men-less world would be like, but he needn't have worried, as the whole thought is too preposterous to most women to be taken seriously, even as a bit of science fiction! The story also loses a lot of oomph when the central character gets back to her own time, and decides to take it into her hands to stop the onward progression of history. But, having said all that, the story does work on the disturbing level of what it would be like to suddenly wake up in a different body and in a different time. I quite felt for "Mother Orchis" being told that from now on she had to spend her life as a blob wrapped in pink satin, unable to think, move freely or read, and there solely to produce litters of daughters. I personally found that the rest of the stories in this volume didn't quite pack the same emotional punch, although "Stitch In Time" about an old lady who, through some strange experiment in physics, meets her long-lost love from 50 years before, is certainly thought-provoking to say the least, tho' I felt more could have been done with it. The story about Peggy MacRafferty, a pretty Irish girl transformed into a screen starlet and losing all her individuality in the process, becoming yet another plastic babe, loses vitality because we've seen this scenario done so many times since, and to be honest, done better. This volume is an interesting read for John Wyndham fans, but I wouldn't say it was vintage science fiction.
Excellent book. John Wyndham is, without doubt, my favourite science fiction author of all time. Although The Chrysalids and The Seeds of Time are the best of his writing I was happy to finally find Consider her ways.
The sellers of this item, Pandora Books proveded an excellent service but what of the book itself ?
This is an excellent book of short stories by one of the great British writers of science fiction (S F). 'Consider her ways' the title story is the longest story in the collection but not necessaryily the best. A re-occuring theme in several of the stories is time travel and my favourite story ,'Random quest' was adapted for a rather good BBC drama a few years ago and can be seen on Youtube.
I had never heard of this book until about 6 months ago, I came across by chance. I am so happy I bought it. ODD is one of the most orginal time travel stories I have read. If you are into John Wyndham stories, buy it!