The Authors and Illustrators - Profiles

John Christopher (Samuel Youd)

  Samuel Youd born on April 16, 1922 is a British science fiction author. He has written under the pseudonyms John Christopher, Stanley Winchester, Hilary Ford, William Godfrey, Peter Graaf, Peter Nichols, and Anthony Rye. He is best known for The Tripods trilogy, published under the pseudonym John Christopher.

  Youd was born in Lancashire, and educated at Peter Symonds' School in Winchester, Hampshire (now Peter Symonds College).He did his war service in the Royal Corps of Signals between 1941 and 1946. A scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation made it possible for him to pursue his writing career, beginning with The Winter Swan. His novels were popular during the 1950s and 1960s, most notably The Death Of Grass. In recent years his novels appear to have fallen out of favour and now few remain in print, although they are still valued by collectors and fans of the genre. There was a brief revival in the 1980s after British television dramatised The Tripods

  Many of his science fiction novels follow the ruined earth pattern also followed by authors John Wyndham or H. G. Wells. In these novels everyday characters are placed into a setting in which they experience a major disaster which has severe implications for society and the world. Thus, he explores how characters and society cope with such changes.

  In 1966 he started writing science-fiction for adolescents. The Tripods trilogy, the Prince in Waiting trilogy (also known as the Sword of the Spirits trilogy) and The Lotus Caves are still widely read today. The Tripods is being developed as a film by Alex Proyas at Paramount Pictures and The Lotus Caves is being developed as a film by Walden Media.

John Christopher


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