Alan Robson - The Bearded Triffid

Triffids were invented by the science fiction novelist John Wyndham (1903-1969) in his 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids. They were mobile plants equipped with a vicious sting which could kill with a single lash. They were not a threat until the population fell blind due to a comet's light, giving the triffids a serious advantage.

The novel was enormously popular in England and the word entered the language.

I remember as a child going for drives in the country with my parents. Whenever they saw a strange weed cowering in the hedgerow they would proclaim it to be a triffid.

A whole generation of British children grew up convinced that any plant they were unable to identify must be a triffid, and that given the least bit of encouragement it would chase after them and sting them to death...

The Bearded Triffid

I first read the book when I was about eight years old (I think - the exact details are a little hazy now), but I do remember that it made an enormous impression on me. It turned me into a rabid science fiction fan (a hobby I have pursued from that day to this).

A close friend, amused by the fanaticism with which I indulged my hobby, used to refer to me jokingly as the bearded triffid. The name stuck (I was quite proud of it) and I have used it ever since.

The essays on this web site won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for best fan writing in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

If you have any comments about the world of the Bearded Triffid, then please Contact me.


Content Last Updated: 12th December 2017

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These web pages are copyright (c) Alan Robson 1999 - 2017.
Except where stated otherwise, all illustrations are copyright (c) James Bryson 1993 and 1999 and are reproduced with permission. Thank you James.
Please feel free to link to any material on this site, but I'd rather you didn't download and/or redistribute any of the material -- apart from that referenced under the Fun tab, which is freely downloadable. Thank you.

The articles on this web site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.