Category: John Christopher

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Who was John Christopher?

Sam Youd was born in Lancashire in April 1922, during an unseasonable snowstorm.

As a boy, he was devoted to the newly emergent genre of science-fiction: ‘In the early thirties,’ he later wrote, ‘we knew just enough about the solar system for its possibilities to be a magnet to the imagination.’

Over the following decades, his imagination flowed from science-fiction into general novels, cricket novels, medical novels, gothic romances, detective thrillers, light comedies …

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The Caves of Night

Five people enter the Frohnberg caves, three men and two women. In the glare of the Austrian sunshine, the cool underground depths seem an attractive proposition – until the collapse of a cave wall blocks their return to the outside world. Faced with an unexplored warren of tunnels and caves …

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Cloud on Silver

A disparate group of Londoners are brought together by Sweeney, a mysteriously charismatic man of wealth, for a luxury cruise in the South Pacific – they know not why. Sailing far from the normal shipping routes, the ship weighs anchor just off an uninhabited tropical island…

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On a knife-edge

Jane had been there before – or rather, Cynthia. In John Christopher’s The Caves of Night, after a caving accident, she finds herself clinging on to the edge of an abyss, with the weight of...

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The White Voyage

Dublin to Dieppe to Amsterdam. A routine trip for the cargo ship Kreya, her Danish crew and handful of passengers. Brief enough for undercurrents to remain below the surface and secrets to stay buried…

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Why I wrote THE LOTUS CAVES – Part 1

In 1971, two years after its publication, John Christopher (alias Hilary Ford, alias Sam Youd) published an article in the children’s magazine ‘Puffin Post’ to explain his reasons for writing THE LOTUS CAVES — recently...

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Cry freedom!

It is getting on for fifty years since Sam Youd decided to try his hand at ‘young fiction’. In 1966, as he himself recalls: [My agent] David Higham came to me with a proposition. Richard...

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Classics of their genre!

John Christopher’s science-fiction novels for young adults, in particular the Tripods series, have long been considered classics of their genre. In recognition of their ongoing appeal, Simon & Schuster, who have published the Tripods books...