- The Secret People
: "For the
Audrey Hepburnfilm of the same title, see The Secret People (film)."
Infobox Book |
name = The Secret People
author = John Beynon
language = English
Science fiction novel
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 256 pp
isbn = NA
"The Secret People" (1935) is a
science fictionnovel by John Wyndham. It is set in 1964, and features a British couple who find themselves held captive by an ancient race of pygmiesdwelling beneath the Sahara desert. The novel was written under Wyndham's early pen name, John Beynon.
In the story the Sahara is being flooded as a feat of engineering when the protagonist of the novel, Mark Sunnet, crashes his private rocket plane into the newly formed lake. He soon finds himself and his female companion sucked into an underground cavern where they are promptly captured by the mysterious pygmies.
The diet of little people is centred around large fungi; the captives speculate that stories which reached the surface of the little people and their giant mushrooms may have led to the myth of
The central premise of the novel is that the little people were once much more common but had been pushed to the fringes of the world by their larger counterparts until they were finally forced underground. The theory partly presaged the 2004 discovery of the remains of "
Homo floresiensis", a small hominid, in a cave in Flores, Indonesia.
Set in the year 1964, the novel correctly identifies
Queen Elizabeth IIas the reigning monarch of England, although when the novel was published in 1935, she was not in the line of succession.
*cite book | last=Bleiler | first=Everett | authorlink=Everett F. Bleiler | title=The Checklist of Fantastic Literature | location=Chicago | publisher=Shasta Publishers | pages=50 | date=1948
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