John Wyndham was a master of future apocalypse stories. This is my favourite. Some clever boffins in horticulture, behind the iron curtain, have bred a plant that produces an oil so useful and versatile, that it's going to put some very powerful noses out of joint in the oil businesses of The West. So they're prepared to pay a lot of money for stolen seeds to get themselves out of their fix. The industrial espionage attempt is sabotaged in mid-air and the seeds are released at such a height that they spread all over the planet. These plants are soon found to have some additional features that are quite alarming. The problem of the mobility and aggression of the plants is solved by fastening them to the ground and penning them up. This solution works well enough until an apparent 'meteor shower' blinds almost everyone - at which point the triffids come into their own and the nightmare begins.
Day of the Triffids was first published in 1951 and is as fine a read today as it was then - and possibly even more relevant with the current on-going controversy over genetically modified crops being aired on the news programmes on a regular basis. It's a story I enjoy reading, watching (the 1981 British serial rather than the film with the odd choice of an American sailor as the Bill Masen character) and listening to (BBC radio 7 sometimes broadcasts it in half-hour instalments). I have the book and the 1981 serial DVD and I wish I could get hold of an audiobook of the BBC serialisation. It's no surprise then that I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sci-fi in particular and a good read in general.