Tag: John Christopher

Decoy

Decoy by John Christopher (Science Fiction Stories, July 1955) Not much of a (short) story. Christopher’s world-building hints at a complex near-future society worthy of greater exploration, but the characters are presented as if the reader should already be familiar with them. The result is an untethered, over-simple tale of matchmaking.    

Conspiracy

Conspiracy by John Christopher, Authentic Science Fiction Monthly 53 (Jan 1955) [Short Story] When an eatery waitress picks one of her customers as a foreigner, he wants to know what gave him away. This short story appears at first a simple question of reality versus (SF invasion) paranoia, but Christopher adds his own little twist.    

The Guardians

The Guardians by John Christopher (Hamish Hamilton, 1970) Fifty years on, this award-winning YA science fiction novel holds its value. The story and themes are serious—dystopian even—yet told in an engaging manner without the authorial artifice, irrational character behaviour and contrived sequel-mongering so prevalent in the genre nowadays.    

The Death of Grass

The Death of Grass by John Christopher (Michael Joseph, 1956); audiobook read by William Gaminara (Audible, 2011) A straightforward but fluently written quest narrative, disquieting in its content. Christopher is something of a forgotten master, and posits an all-too-real apocalypse brought about by systemic crop failure. The plot twists grimly to follow humanity’s rapid and inevitable loss of civilisation.  …

Worldshaker

Worldshaker by Richard Harland (Allen & Unwin, 2009); audiobook read by Adrian Mulraney (Bolinda, 2012) A book that calls to mind John Christopher’s ‘Wild Jack’. The theme of social awakening is not new but each generation of reader should learn to question assumptions of privilege. Harland’s steampunk milieu — extrapolated from Victorian class divisions — serves well as backdrop.  …

42 Word Retrospective: The White Mountains by John Christopher

The White Mountains by John Christopher (Simon & Schuster, 1967) Almost half a century on, John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy remains a page-turning standout in young adult SF. The White Mountains depicts a society kept in post-invasion, pre-industrial subjugation, and embarks us on Christopher’s action-light yet well-paced, never less than compelling quest narrative.