Subscribe to SLJ
Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Science Fiction loses author John Christopher

Rest In Peace John Christopher (Christopher Samuel Youd). Christopher’s series, The Tripods, was a popular pick for me to put in students’ hands for three decades to introduce them to science fiction. My students loved his work. Although the Tripods trilogy was released in the 60’s, I didn’t discover the series until the prequel was released in 1988.

As a new school librarian, in 1989 I faced my first challenge when 5th grade teacher Carl asked me to pull a number of science-fiction titles to introduce to his students. He mentioned to me that these might turn his students into avid readers of science-fiction, or might cement in their minds that reading was boring. What pressure?!  As I searched, I discovered the prequel and the trilogy. Success! I remember students writing to me years later about their love of reading, especially science fiction and fantasy.

Sheila Ruth has reposted her reviews of John Christopher’s books on her blog Wands and Worlds: Fantasy and Science Fiction for Children and Teens

Here’s the Tor obituary:

Gail Gauthier’s tribute to John Christopher can be found at


  1. Thanks for linking to my review. I’m happy to hear that your students enjoyed the Tripods books!

  2. Christopher’s Tripods trilogy was not only fundamental to encouraging my interest in science fiction, but featured the first ambivalent heroes – heroes who were not simply all-good or all-bad – that I encountered as a young reader. His talent will be missed.