Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Chrysalids

This is the first paperback edition of a 1955 science fiction novel that has enjoyed many subsequent reprintings. The 50s Penguins conformed to an elegant design imparted by Jan Tschichold.

Above is the edition I finished reading today, published in 2008. And below are some of the many reprintings that appeared for sale between 1955 and 2008.

A post-apocalyptic novel, one of many that appeared in the aftermath of Hiroshima. My childhood coincided with the high-water mark of the Cold War and one of my strongest memories is lying in bed night after night listening for the sirens that would announce a nuclear attack and the instantaneous death of everybody.