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John Christopher (1922-2012)

Sam Youd, 89, better known by his pseudonym John Christopher, died February 3, 2012 in Bath England. As Christopher he wrote the classic SF catastrophe novel The Death of Grass (1956; in the US as No Blade of Grass, 1957), and the YA trilogy Tripods, which began in 1967.

His first publication of genre interest was poem “Dreamer” in Weird Tales (1949) as C.S. Youd, with first SF story “Christmas Tree” appearing as Christopher Youd in 1949. His story “A Few Kindred Spirits” (1965), as John Christopher, was a Nebula finalist.

First novel The Winter Swan (1949), as Christopher Youd, was fantasy, and he produced a number of non-SF works in the following years under various names.

The Twenty-Second Century (1954) collected some of his SF stories, and his first true SF novel was The Year of the Comet (1955; in the US as Planet in Peril, 1959), all as John Christopher. Other adult SF work includes The Long Winter (1962; as The World in Winter), Sweeney’s Island (1964; as Cloud and Silver in the UK), The Possessors (1965), A Wrinkle in the Skin (1965; as The Ragged Edge in the US, 1966), The Little People (1966), Pendulum (1968), and Bad Dream (2003).

He turned to children’s SF and fantasy with The White Mountains (1967), beginning the Tripods series, which also includes The City of Gold and Lead (1967), The Pool of Fire (1968), and prequel When the Tripods Came (1988). He also wrote The Prince in Waiting series, the Fireball series, and numerous standalones for children.

Born April 16, 1922 in Huyton, Lancaster, Lancashire, Youd attended Peter Symonds’ School in Winchester, Hampshire before serving in the Royal Corps of Signals from 1941-46. He became a full-time writer in 1958.

For more, see his entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

A complete obituary will appear in the March issue of Locus Magazine.

Comments

Pingback from RIP: Samuel Youd, a.k.a. John Christopher (1922 – 2012) – SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog
Time Sun 5 February 2012 at 10:13 pm

[...] Online is reporting that Samuel Youd, who wrote genre fiction under the name John Christopher, passed away at the age [...]

Pingback from The Tripod Series: A Retrospective – The Intergalactic Academy
Time Mon 6 February 2012 at 11:29 am

[...] I learned today of the death of Samuel Youd–the author also known as John Christopher–and realized I’d been terribly remiss. [...]

Pingback from Matt Christopher is Dead | North of Nowhere
Time Mon 6 February 2012 at 6:46 pm

[...] who wrote The Tripod Trilogy and the The Prince in Waiting Trilogy, as well as other sci-fi books, is dead.  I’d love to play a D&D game inspired by the Prince in Waiting, which was essentially [...]

Pingback from Vale: Samuel Youd, aka John Christopher « Vampires in the Sunburnt Country
Time Tue 7 February 2012 at 2:27 pm

[...] of British Writer Samuel Youd, on February 3, only two months shy of his 90th birthday. <Update: Locus has confirmed Youd’s [...]

Pingback from Fantasy Literature’s Fantasy Book and Audiobook Reviews
Time Wed 8 February 2012 at 9:01 am

[...] Samuel Youd aka John Christopher 1922-2012: Another legend shuffles off this mortal [...]


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