The Night of the Triffids

The Night of the Triffids is a science fiction novel by British writer Simon Clark, published in 2001. It is a sequel to John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids. Clark has been commended for his success at mimicking Wyndham's style, but most reviewers have not rated his creation as highly as the original 1951 work. Clark's book is written in the first person and narrated by David Masen, the son of Wyndham's protagonist.

The Night of the Triffids
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
AuthorSimon Clark
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreScience fiction
PublisherHodder & Stoughton
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback)
Preceded byThe Day of the Triffids 

Plot summary

The story begins on the Isle of Wight, 25 years after the events from The Day of the Triffids. The community there has thrived, primarily by refining triffid oil into fuel.

One morning, a solar blackout occurs and triffids once again besiege the island. Pilot David Masen (son of Bill and Josella Masen from The Day of the Triffids) takes to the skies to investigate the cause of the blackout; however, even after taking his plane into the atmosphere as high as it can go, he finds that there is no end to the absolute darkness.

On David's descent, he loses communication with the control tower and is forced to make a crash landing on a floating island populated by triffids. There, he meets an orphaned young girl, Christina, who has been surviving on her own in the wild since she was a young child, primarily because she is immune to triffid stings. The pair are rescued by an American ship that takes them to Manhattan Island in New York City.

Manhattan, a secure and self-contained community like the one on the Isle of Wight, appears at first glance to be a utopia seemingly untouched by the triffid catastrophe. David quickly falls in love with his tour guide, Kerris Baedekker, who is one of the hundreds of daughters of General Fielding, the primary ruler of the city. David divulges to General Fielding that the Isle of Wight has a considerable fleet of aircraft, which, using triffid oil for fuel, can fly much farther than the Manhattan fleet that runs on wood alcohol.

Just before David is set to return home to the Isle of Wight, he is kidnapped by a rebel group known as the Forresters. However, David ends up siding with them when they reveal that Fielding is actually a terrible dictator named Torrence, an old enemy of David's father, and that he keeps Manhattan prosperous by using the black and blind citizens as slaves, unbeknownst to the rest of the population. The Forresters further reveal that Torrence is planning to attack the Isle of Wight in order to steal their triffid oil refining machinery and that he intends to create a race of soldiers immune to triffid poison by harvesting Christina's ovaries and implanting them into all the viable women in Manhattan.

In order to rescue Christina and Kerris from Torrence's headquarters in the Empire State Building, the Forresters unleash thousands of triffids into the city, some as gigantic as sixty feet tall. Unfortunately, Torrence and his guards manage to fend off the attacks and capture David and his group. However, Torrence is defeated when thousands of slaves arrive, released from their slave camps during the triffid attack, and convince the soldiers to turn on the dictator.

At the end of the story, it is revealed that the great blackout was caused by interstellar dust, and that even though it continues to wreak havoc on the global climate, people everywhere are still surviving. It is also revealed that up to 25 percent of the population is immune to triffid stings, due to repeated exposure to small amounts of the plant's poison when consuming triffids for food.

Literary significance and criticism

Comments on The Night of the Triffids include:

"Clark scores fairly high in pastiching Wyndham's style, at least."[1]
"Wyndham did hit notes of poetry and grim beauty more often than Clark does"[1]
"Overall, The Night of the Triffids is a fine work of fiction that will keep any sci-fi/horror fan happy"[2]
"It fails, however, in its main aim, that of supplying a worthy follow-up to one of the classics of British science fiction."[3]


The Night of the Triffids won the British Fantasy Award in 2002.[4]


On June 19, 2014 Big Finish Productions announced an audio drama adaptation of The Night of the Triffids, released in September 2014.[5] Big Finish's production has been picked up by the BBC and first broadcast on their Radio 4 Extra station June 29, 2016.


  1. ^ a b Di Filippo, Paul (2006). "The Night of the Triffids : Off the Shelf". Archived from the original on 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  2. ^ Seaman, Dave (2005). "The Night of the Triffids review". Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  3. ^ Hudson, Patrick. "Triffids - book reviews for".
  4. ^ The British Fantasy Awards: a Short History Archived 2013-07-04 at the Wayback Machine at Retrieved 12.June 2013
  5. ^


  • Clark, Simon (October 2001). The Night of the Triffids (1st ed.). London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-76600-X.
August Derleth Award

The August Derleth Award is an annual literary award by the British Fantasy Society, named after the American writer and editor August Derleth. It was inaugurated in 1972 for the best novel of the year, was not awarded in 2011, and was continued in 2012 for the best horror novel of the year.

Culture of the Isle of Wight

As an island, the Isle of Wight maintains a culture close to, but distinct from, that of the south of England. A high proportion of the population are now 'overners' rather than locally born, and so with a few notable exceptions it has more often formed the backdrop for cultural events of wider rather than island-specific significance.

The Island has inspired many creative works. Local people often seek to defend their real or perceived culture, and local politics is often dictated by a desire to preserve the traditions and habits of the Island.

The first creative flowering occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria, under whose patronage the island became a fashionable destination for the gentry.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

List of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

This is a list of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction works as portrayed in literature, film, television, and, comics.Apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that is concerned with the end of civilization due to a potentially existential catastrophe such as nuclear warfare, pandemic, extraterrestrial attack, impact event, cybernetic revolt, technological singularity, dysgenics, supernatural phenomena, divine judgment, climate change, resource depletion or some other general disaster. Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten (or mythologized).

Apocalypse is a Greek word referring to the end of the world. Apocalypticism is the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation of God's will, but now usually refers to belief that the world will come to an end very soon, even within one's own lifetime.Apocalyptic fiction does not portray catastrophes, or disasters, or near-disasters that do not result in apocalypse. A threat of an apocalypse does not make a piece of fiction apocalyptic. For example, Armageddon and Deep Impact are considered disaster films and not apocalyptic fiction because, although earth and/or human-kind are terribly threatened, in the end they manage to avoid destruction. Apocalyptic fiction is not the same as fiction that provides visions of a dystopian future. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, for example, is dystopian fiction, not apocalyptic fiction.

List of fictional plants

This list of fictional plants describes invented plants that appear in works of fiction.

Simon Clark (novelist)

Simon Clark (born 20 April 1958) is a horror novelist from Doncaster, England. He is the author of the novel The Night of the Triffids, the novella Humpty's Bones, and the short story Goblin City Lights, which have all won awards.

Most of his stories are based in Yorkshire, his home county. He also uses a technique that he calls "The Art of Wandering". The idea for Goblin City Lights arose from wandering in a London graveyard.

The Day of the Triffids

The Day of the Triffids is a 1951 post-apocalyptic novel by the English science fiction author John Wyndham. After most people in the world are blinded by an apparent meteor shower, an aggressive species of plant starts killing people. Although Wyndham had already published other novels using other pen name combinations drawn from his real name, this was the first novel published as "John Wyndham". It established him as an important writer and remains his best-known novel.

The story has been made into the 1962 feature film of the same name, three radio drama series (in 1957, 1968 and 2001), and two TV series (in 1981 and 2009). It was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1952, and in 2003 the novel was listed on the BBC's survey The Big Read.

The Day of the Triffids (film)

The Day of the Triffids is a 1962 British science fiction film in CinemaScope and Eastmancolor, produced by George Pitcher and Philip Yordan, and directed by Steve Sekely. It stars Howard Keel and Nicole Maurey, and is based on the 1951 novel of the same name by John Wyndham. The film was released in the U.K. by the Rank Organisation and in the U.S. by Allied Artists.


The triffid is a fictional tall, mobile, prolific and highly venomous plant species, the titular antagonist in John Wyndham's 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids and Simon Clark's 2001 sequel The Night of the Triffids. Triffids were also featured in the 1957 BBC radio dramatization of Wyndham's book, a considerably altered 1962 film adaptation, a more faithful 1981 television serial produced by the BBC, and in a 2009 two-part TV series also produced by the BBC.

Since 1951, when The Day of the Triffids was first published, the word "triffid" has become a popular British English colloquial term for large, overgrown or menacing-looking plants.

Works by John Wyndham
Short stories
Short story collections
Film adaptations
TV adaptations


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