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John Christopher Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Fireball Trilogy Books

Publication Order of The Sword of the Spirits Books

The Prince in Waiting (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beyond the Burning Lands (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sword of the Spirits (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Tripods Books

When the Tripods Came (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The White Mountains (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The City of Gold and Lead (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pool of Fire (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Year of the Comet / Planet in Peril (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Death of Grass / No Blade of Grass (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Caves of Night (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Scent Of White Poppies (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The White Voyage / The White Voyage (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The World in Winter / The Long Winter (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cloud On Silver / Sweeney's Island (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Possessors (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Wrinkle in the Skin / The Ragged Edge (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Little People (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pendulum (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lotus Caves (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Guardians (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dom and Va / In The Beginning (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wild Jack (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Empty World (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Dusk of Demons (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bad Dream (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Twenty Second Century (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Tales of Unease(1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tenth Pan Book of Horror Stories(1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Tales of Unease(1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Science Fiction Stories(1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Christmas on Ganymede and Other Stories(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Young Oxford Book of Nasty Endings(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Already Among Us(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

John Christopher
Sam Youd was born in Huyton, Lancashire on April 16, 1922, during an unseasonable snowstorm. He moved to Hampshire and was educated at Peter Symonds’ School in Winchester, before serving in the Royal Corps of Signals from 1941 to 1946.

As a boy, he was devoted to the newly emergent genre of science fiction, and during his teens he even published an amateur magazine, called The Fantast. Sam admired Arthur C. Clarke and Aldous Huxley, at the literarily serious end of the spectrum. He would write later that in the early thirties, they knew just enough about the solar system for its possibilities to be a magnet to the imagination.

His imagination, over the subsequent decades, flowed from science fiction and into general novels, medical novels, detective thrillers, cricket novels, gothic romances, light comedies.

He got a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation that made it possible for Sam to pursue a writing career, starting with “The Winter Swan” that he published under the name of Christopher Youd. He penned science fiction short stories as John Christopher from 1951 and his first novel under this name was a science fiction novel titled, “Year of the Comet”, that was published by Michael Joseph in 1955. He would see his first major success with his second novel, “The Death of Grass”, published in 1956.

He continued to use the pseudonym of John Christopher for most of his writing and all of his science fiction work.

Youd has been cited as the greatest serial killer in fictional history, having destroyed civilization in so many various ways, through freezing, famine, feral youth combined with religious fanaticism, earthquakes, and progeria.

John won the annual Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for The Guardians, and in 1976, he won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, youth fiction category, for the same novel in its German “Die Wachter”.

“The Death of Grass” was adapted as a film under its American title of “No Blade of Grass” by Cornel Wilde. “The Tripods” was partially developed into a British TV series, while “Empty World” was developed into “Leere Welt”, a 1987 TV movie in Germany. “The Guardians” was made into a 1986 TV series in Germany, “Die Wachter”.

In the year 1946, he married Joyce Fairbairn, with whom he had four daughters and a son. They divorced in the year 1978, and he married Jessica Ball.

For many years Youd lived in Rye, East Essex. He died at the age of 89 of complications from bladder cancer on February 3, 2012 in Bath, Somerset.

“The Death of Grass” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 1956. The Chung-Li virus devastates Asia, wiping the rice crop out, and leaves riots and mass starvation behind in its wake. The rest of the world looks on with concern, even though its safe in the expectation that there will be a counter-virus is going to be developed any day now. But then Chung-Li mutates and spreads. Barley, oats, wheat, rye: there’s no grass crop that is safe, and a global famine is threatened.

In Britain, where green fields are turning brown at a rapid pace, the Government lies to its citizens, devising secret plans of its own to preserve the lives of a mere few at the price of the many.

Getting of what is to come, John Custance and his family conclude that they have to abandon their London home and head for the sanctuary of his brother’s farm located in an isolated northern valley. And so they start on their long journey across a country that is quickly descending into barbarism. A place where the law of the gun prevails, and the civilized values that they once took for granted become the cost that they are forced to pay in order to survive.

“A Wrinkle in the Skin” is a stand alone novel that was released in the year 1965. A massive sequence of earthquakes on a worldwide scale reduce entire cities to mere rubble, and plunge the survivors into barbarism. Much of western Europe gets dramatically uplifted, which transforms the English Channel into a muddy desert, while elsewhere there are lands that are plunged below sea level and they are flooded.

The hero is a Guernsey horticulturalist, named Matthew Cotter, and he finds himself one of just a handful of survivors on the former island. Matthew decides to journey across the emptied seabed to go to England, with the faint hope that his daughter survived somehow.

“Fireball” is the first novel in the “Fireball” series and was released in the year 1981. Two cousins get thrust into a parallel reality when they travel through fire and time.

Simon and his cousin Bard were not wanting to spend the entire summer together. And the quiet London where Simon lived was the very last place that they had expected for anything unusual to happen. But then the fireball came.

That huge whirling ball of light wasn’t anything like the boys had ever witnessed before and they felt compelled to investigate.

They awoke in a world where everything was changed. It is still England, but it’s an England horrifyingly different from the one that they left behind. They passed through the fireball, and now they’ll have to learn how to survive in the fascinatingly odd world that’s on the other side.

“When the Tripods Came” is a prequel novel in the “Tripods” series and was released in the year 1988. Long ago, the Tripods, three legged and huge machines, descended upon the Earth and took control. Now people accept the Tripods’ power unquestioningly. They’ve got no control over their own lives or their thoughts. However for a brief time in each individual’s life, in childhood, they’re not a slave.

For Will, his time of freedom is close to ending, unless he is able to escape to the White Mountains, where the potential of freedom still remains.

Readers found this to be a short, well written, and horrifying read. It was especially creepy just how simply how the tripods are able to take over most of the world.

Book Series In Order » Authors » John Christopher

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