Vale: Samuel Youd, aka John Christopher


Word is spreading of a sad loss in the speculative fiction community, that of British Writer Samuel Youd, on February 3, only two months shy of his 90th birthday. <Update: Locus has confirmed Youd’s passsing.>

As John Christopher, Youd provided two of the great texts of my childhood, both of which have survived the recent pogroms of excess literature cluttering the household shelves: The Tripods and The Sword of the Spirits trilogies. Tripods in particular made a strong impression.

This is barely scratching the surface of his output published under numerous pseudonyms.

He ranked up there with the likes of Garner, Cooper and Le Guin in my early reading. I hope more generations come to appreciate his legacy.

Update: the Guardian looks at Youd’s work and provides a short obituary and a longer one.