Old and pulpy sci-fi often has some interesting ideas, but the words they used were often lacking in style and even coherence. Sometimes it is poor editing – a “where” for a “were” – but there are times when their words seem to be intentionally confusing.
Case in point: John Wyndham was correct that we are fucked as a species. The seas will rise, and plants will hunt us down. But I’ve read this sentence from his Out of the Deeps (the U.S. version of The Kraken Awakes) many times and I’m still in the dark:
“Almost every cartoonist discovered simultaneously why his favorite political butts had somehow never seemed quite human.” (pg. 106, Del Ray from 1977 edition)