Title: Trouble with Lichen

Author: John Wyndham

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 208

Rating: 3/5

This book was another miss for me, and the second in a row from Wyndham. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, it’s just not as great as some of his other stuff. It also has a cracking concept, which is that of the discovery of a type of lichen that essentially enables people to lengthen their lives to as much as 200 years.

The problem is that the story line doesn’t necessarily do justice to the concept. What I did like, though, is that Wyndham did such a good job of thinking about the societal repercussions of discovering such a lichen, especially considering that there isn’t much of it and so demand would far outstrip supply.

In fact, the only thing that he really missed in terms of the repercussions is the impact that it would have on a planet that’s already struggling with overpopulation, a topic that I’ve been thinking about more than usual lately due to the fact that we just hit eight billion people. When I was at school, we were taught that there were “only” six billion. What crazy times, man.

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