Ticker Troon emerged from his final interview filled with an emulsion of astonishment, elation, respect, and conviction that he needed refreshment.
The interview had begun formally, as he had expected. Announced by the clerk, he had marched in smartly, and come to attention before the wide desk. The old boy behind it had turned out to be a considerably older boy than he had been prepared for, but his type was authentic. Lean, he was, with a handsome, slightly weathered, aristocratic face, carefully trimmed hair that was quite white, and rows of ribbon on his left breast.
He had raised his eyes from a clipful of forms to inspect his visitor carefully, and even at that point Ticker had begun to have a suspicion that the interview was not goung to be entirely routine, for the old boy – or, to identify him more fully, Air Marshal Sir Godfrey Wilde – did not employ simply that keen-eyed air of summming one’s man up at leasure and appearing incompletely satisfied, which had been the drill at lower grades of interviews. He was really looking at Ticker as a person, and somewhat oddly, too. Still looking, he nodded slowly to himself two or three times.
The author of ‘The Day of the Triffids’, writing ten years before the first moon-landing, excitingly plots the stages in the exploration of the Solar System.
The novel’s stated authorship has a peculiar history. It was published as co-written by John Wyndham and Lucas Parkes, but they were different pen-names for the same writer. He had used the pen-name Lucas Parkes earlier in his career. Unlike most of his novels, The Outward Urge was conventional hard science fiction and his publishers decided that they wanted to use the Wyndham and Parkes byline because it was “not your usual Wyndham style”.
John Wyndham’s envisaged careers included farming, law, commercial art and advertising, and he first started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925.
The ‘outward urge’ was a factor in the Troon inheritance. It rocketed successive generations of the Troon family into space. The episodes related in John Wyndham’s novel show Troons involved involved in the building of the Space-Station, the occupation of the Moon, the first landing on Mars, and the trouble about Venus and the asteroids.
Trump in space…🤓
(Penguin Books, 1975)