John W. Campbell’s 1938 short science-fiction story, ‘Who Goes There’, is one of the most influential works of its kind but is probably best known as the 1982 film, John Carpenter’s The Thing. Carpenter’s film is the second adaptation of Campbell’s story, the first being the 1951 The Thing From Another World. Both adaptations are excellent, but Carpenter’s film, in particular, is a masterclass in tension, paranoia and existential threat. The Thing was also remade in 2011, as a wretched pseudo-prequel notable only for its contempt for everything that made John Carpenter’s 1982 film such a triumph. More successful, however, was The Thing’s return to the literary form as Peter Watts’ short story adaptation, ‘The Things’, published in 2010. Here, the story is told from the alien’s perspective, depicting the extraterrestrial sympathetically as it tries to make sense of the strange world and beings around it.
This article was published on the international short story forum Thresholds. Click here to read the full article and download a free copy of Peter Watts’ story ‘The Things’.