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More Thing

Steve Sailer blogs “The Thing”, a once and future creature feature with roots in the Golden Age of science fiction:

[…] John Carpenter’s classic 1982 horror film “The Thing” is being remade by Battlestar Galactica screenwriter Ronald D. Moore.

All the movie versions, including the 1951 rendition, are based on the great 1938 sci-fi story “Who Goes There?” Written by John W. Campbell at age 28, it was his last major piece of fiction. After that, he concentrated solely upon editing Astounding Science Fiction magazine, the key vehicle in launching the Golden Age of Hard Science Fiction. In the summer of 1939 alone, Campbell published the first stories of (among others) Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.

“Who Goes There?” is the story of American scientists holed up for the winter in a research station in Antarctica. They find an ancient spaceship buried under the ice and dig up a frozen body, which (foolishly) they allow to thaw. The alien wakes up and begins to eat people.

That sounds like an episode of Enterprise, but “The Thing,” Sailer explains, birthed the entire body snatching subgenre. He also quotes some interesting speculation from Wikipedia on where Campbell got the idea.