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John Christopher was the pen-name of Sam Youd, a celebrated and influential writer of science fiction. Youd was born in Huyton, Lancashire in 1922, and began his career as an author after serving in World War II.

Many of Youd's novels for adults and children are considered classics, including The Death of Grass, The Guardians, and the four books in his Tripods series, which were adapted successfully for television in the 1980s.

Sam Youd died in 2012, aged 89.

John Christopher was the pseudonym of Christopher Samuel Youd, who was born in April 1922 in the village of Knowsley, near Liverpool. When he was aged ten, his family moved south to Hampshire, where he attended Peter Symonds' School, Winchester. Subsequently he has lived in London, Guernsey, and Rye.

He started taking writing seriously when, on leaving the army at the end of 1946, he was given an Atlantic Award by the Rockefeller Foundation. His primary target was the general novel, of which he eventually published ten. Additionally, under the stimulus of providing for a family which grew to include five children, he wrote genre novels - thrillers, light comedies, even a couple with a cricket background - under pen-names. As John Christopher, he wrote a series of books labelled 'science fiction', including The Death of Grass.

In 1966 he was asked to try writing for young people, and came up with the Tripods trilogy. He has since written many other children's books, including the Sword and Fireball trilogies and a 'prequel' to the Tripods trilogy: When the Tripods Came. His latest book was A Dusk of Demons.

Christopher Samuel Youd passed away in Bath, England on 3 February 2012.

Books by John Christopher