John Wyndham's last novel, which remained unpublished until 1979, ten years after the author's death.Currently published by Penguin, ISBN 0-14-005338-7.

Sadly, I was quite disappointed with Mr Wyndham's last offering. The story begins somewhat promisingly with a millionaire English lord who dreams of ounding a Utopian community on an uninhabited island, but quickly disintegrates once the island is reached. Mutated spiders attack the colonising party and the adventures which ensue result in multiple deaths and very little, to my mind, in the way of drama.

What is notable about this novel is how John Wyndham's attitudes have changed since his earlier books. The novels written in the Fifties often used nuclear power as some sort of panacaea, but by 1969 the evil side-effects of atomic radiation had become realised. The first handful of pages have a decent satire on British newspaper journalism and a smidgeon of insidious anti-Communism to remind us whose book we are reading.

All things considered, though, it appears that after the masterworks of The Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, and even The Outward Urge, John Wyndham had somewhat run out of ideas. Sad, really.

The working surface of a thin material (e.g. textiles, paper, foils, plastic films) in a continuous-feed process. In the printing and coating industries, for example, the web is spooled off an unwind shaft, passes through coating and/or printing heads, drying ovens, treatment stations, and slitting knives, eventually to rewind on the finished roll. A web break is a minor catastrophe, as the loss of tension on the material will lead to application of too much or not enough coating, and misalignment through coating and slitting stations.

Web (?), n. [OE. webbe, AS. webba. See Weave.]

A weaver.




© Webster 1913.

Web, n. [OE. web, AS. webb; akin to D. web, webbe, OHG. weppi, G. gewebe, Icel. vefr, Sw. vaf, Dan. vaev. See Weave.]


That which is woven; a texture; textile fabric; esp., something woven in a loom.

Penelope, for her Ulysses' sake, Devised a web her wooers to deceive. Spenser.

Not web might be woven, not a shuttle thrown, or penalty of exile. Bancroft.


A whole piece of linen cloth as woven.


The texture of very fine thread spun by a spider for catching insects at its prey; a cobweb.

"The smallest spider's web."



Fig.: Tissue; texture; complicated fabrication.

The somber spirit of our forefathers, who wove their web of life with hardly a . . . thread of rose-color or gold. Hawthorne.

Such has been the perplexing ingenuity of commentators that it is difficult to extricate the truth from the web of conjectures. W. Irving.

5. Carriages

A band of webbing used to regulate the extension of the hood.


A thin metal sheet, plate, or strip, as of lead.

And Christians slain roll up in webs of lead. Fairfax.

Specifically: -


The blade of a sword.


The sword, whereof the web was steel, Pommel rich stone, hilt gold. Fairfax.


The blade of a saw.


The thin, sharp part of a colter.


The bit of a key.

7. Mach. & Engin.

A plate or thin portion, continuous or perforated, connecting stiffening ribs or flanges, or other parts of an object.

Specifically: --


The thin vertical plate or portion connecting the upper and lower flanges of an lower flanges of an iron girder, rolled beam, or railroad rail.


A disk or solid construction serving, instead of spokes, for connecting the rim and hub, in some kinds of car wheels, sheaves, etc.


The arm of a crank between the shaft and the wrist.


The part of a blackmith's anvil between the face and the foot.

8. Med.

Pterygium; -- called also webeye.


9. Anat.

The membrane which unites the fingers or toes, either at their bases, as in man, or for a greater part of their length, as in many water birds and amphibians.

10. Zool.

The series of barbs implanted on each side of the shaft of a feather, whether stiff and united together by barbules, as in ordinary feathers, or soft and separate, as in downy feathers. See Feather.

Pin and web Med., two diseases of the eye, caligo and pterygium; -- sometimes wrongly explained as one disease. See Pin, n., 8, and Web, n., 8. "He never yet had pinne or webbe, his sight for to decay." Gascoigne. -- Web member Engin., one of the braces in a web system. -- Web press, a printing press which takes paper from a roll instead of being fed with sheets. -- Web system Engin., the system of braces connecting the flanges of a lattice girder, post, or the like.


© Webster 1913.

Web (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Webbed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Webbing.]

To unite or surround with a web, or as if with a web; to envelop; to entangle.


© Webster 1913.

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