The plot is quite simple: a scientific expedition isolated in Antarctica discovers a long-frozen alien ship, and a long-frozen alien corpse...
"Who Goes There?" is one of the top science-fiction novellas ever published. Well written, carefully thought out plot, (mostly) realistic characters and setting. Although the plot revolves around alien monsters, the interplay of the human characters makes the story very real and very well-balanced.
In addition to being a great story in itself, many of the themes and concepts have crept into many places in sci-fi and horror. The 1950's movie, "The Thing," and John Carpenter's later remake, are (loosely) based on "Who Goes There?".
William F. Nolan's narration is good, if a little slowly-paced. He is hampered by the fact that there are about a dozen speaking characters (all men), and making them all sound distinct is rough. I think a professional narrator might have done a better job, but Nolan's narration is more than acceptable.
The audiobook edition opens with a 6-or-7 minute introduction written by the narrator which provides background on Campbell, the story and "The Thing." Useful, but longer than needed.
John W. Campbell graduated both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as Duke in the early 1930s. He believed that at that time there was no work for a young scientist but there was income for a new science fiction writer. To that end, he published short stories and novels in Amazing, the then-leading science fiction magazine, and Astounding, which marked him as the best science fiction writer of his time. However, his writing career essentially ended with the publication of Who Goes There?, which was published in Astounding.
himself (1910-1971) played a huge role in early science fiction of the 20th century, as an author and as the editor of the influential magazine, . He published a handful of novels and a number of short story collections. Who Goes There? first appeared in Astounding in 1938 and was later incorporated into the short story collection
Who Goes There? is a quite different mood-concept story. In a sense, the Alien of Who Goes There? could be considered a gadget– a non-mechanical gadget. But the emphasis of the story is on putting over to the reader a feeling of the inescapable tension and fear brooding in the Antarctic camp. If Twilight‘s mood is in the direction of “Stardust,” Who Goes There? heads off toward “Night On Bald Mountain.”