My teacher read us "A Wrinkle In Time" when I was in the seventh grade, about 1980. At the end of this book, there was one chapter from another book, sort of a promotional sample. It featured a fantasy warrior of some kind, standing on a plain, looking at an immense giant blob, a translucent wall that contained the half-digested remains of many other warriors, their armor and their weapons, spears and such. I always wanted to read that story, never found out the name. Ring any bells?

(Since it was at the end of the L'Engle book, I thought it might be by the same publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, but I don't know how to research it).

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    You can find a list of books they published at isfdb.org/cgi-bin/publisher.cgi?125
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 3:55
  • That was a good idea, good website. I believe I googled everything they published through 1981 (except L'Engle; I didn't think it was her). None of them seemed likely. Thanks! Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 4:37
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    Do you remember what the cover of the copy of A Wrinkle in Time looked like? That would help narrow down the edition.
    – Buzz
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 13:13
  • No, I don't. I want to say it was the blue cover with the black and green circles, but I may be thinking of my grandmother's copy. Good question! Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 20:54
  • see also scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/161221/… (about the series as a whole)
    – Otis
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


Could this be Beyond the Burning Lands, the second book in the Sword of the Spirits trilogy by John Christopher?

While the cover pictured here is not as explicit as you describe, your description is a close match for the protagonist's attack on a Bayemot:

I looked over the ruins to the next rise of ground, and saw the Bayemot.

Except in size it was something like the bubbles of jelly that make up frog spawn. But it was almost as high as three other men, one above the other, and being flattened from a true sphere by the earth's pull was even greater in breadth. It was motionless but quivered, although the wind had dropped, and though it was nearly transparent there were darker shapes within.

and he sees a man engulfed by it:

I saw, or thought I saw, an arm feebly press against the jellied horror which bore it down.

Beyond the Burning Lands cover

  • That sounds promising. Definitely worth looking into. I will check it out. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 20:56
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    This was the first thing I thought of too (just based on the question title), but it be very odd if an excerpt from this appeared in A Wrinkle in Time. The publishers being different is the biggest thing; but it would also be quite peculiar to put an excerpt from the second (rather than first) book of a series in an unrelated volume.
    – Buzz
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 2:16
  • Yeah, I looked to see if Christopher had ever been published by FSG, but came up empty. I haven't had the chance to check out BTBL, but the passage cited here is so compelling that it's got me wondering if I have simply misremembered the book my teacher was reading when I heard this excerpt 37 years ago! :-) Now that I recall, she also read us the first book in Christopher's Tripod trilogy, so maybe the excerpt was at the end of that instead. It would make a lot of sense. Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 6:50
  • I bought the book and read it and this is indeed the passage I remembered. Excellent! And I am enjoying the read. My teacher must have read this excerpt when she read "The White Mountains" to us, Not "A Wrinkle In Time," as I had thought. That is the only thing that makes sense. Thanks to everyone who helped me find this half-forgotten story! (P.S. -- I added the Bayemot to the Blob Monster page on TV Tropes to help others in the future). Thanks again to all! Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 21:56
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    @PeregrinePlover if you had a teacher who was reading both John Christopher and Madeleine L'Engle to you, you were pretty damn lucky.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 22:00

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