John Christopher Message Board

Sam Youd posts on 5/16/2007 10:47:19 AM Alan: I fear I am not a hobbit fan but I did know of JRT's comment - Arthur Clarke passed it on to me years ago. Tolkien read DoG after it was runner up to LoTR for the 1957 International Fantasy Award. I find his stuff a bit too quaint/ mannered. ('Not another deleted elf ...!' as one of the Inklings once remarked). Michael: Yes, I've been aware of the anti-industrial theme - could maybe have arisen from the fact that I was born (and lived till 10) in an atmosphere totally rural, apart from an adjacent country-going tramline and a major lorry-packed road ... which is now part of the Liverpool urban sprawl.
Victoria W posts on 5/11/2007 12:00:46 PM Good news for all fans of the 1984 BBC adaptation of the Tripods trilogy! 2/entertain, an affiliate of the Beeb, have announced they are releasing The Tripods on DVD - hopefully a box set including series 2 (never released to own before) and extra features. It is believed that this will happen by the end of this year - barring 'acts of God'.
Michael Leader posts on 5/2/2007 2:25:24 AM Alan, I saw that too. The booksellers mixed him up with someone else that goes under pseudonym I think. I've got a few books you might be interested in Alan, if you'll email me (michaelleader perhaps you have a gap I can fill in your collection. (no space after my name in email)

Alan posts on 4/30/2007 4:16:20 PM Sam, Whilst browsing on the internet I saw somebody selling a book by Mark Derby claiming it was a pseudonym of Harry Wilcox or a pseudonym of yourself! This isn't the case is it? I thought I was aware of all your pen names! Thanks Alan
Michael Leader posts on 4/29/2007 9:25:36 PM Thanks Sam. No worries about Winter Swan, I seemed to follow it after the ommissions, but it was hard to know as its such a well-crafted but unusually crafted book (which I liked). I'm just glad you are able to use a computer - most of your generation have shunned them! I'm glad I've discovered your pseudonym works outside of JC, which I first "discovered" you. I read Prince trilogy quite late in my teens as I couldn't track down book two and was loath to pick up book 3 until I read the prequel, so I really enjoyed it on a deeper level. The industrialisation of the country theme recurs in many of your books, either as main plots or subplots - Messages of Love, The Friendly Game, Summers at Accorn to name a few. I've not read your biography, but was that something dear to you (ie did you see your local town "invaded" by industrialisation in the 1950s)? How do you feel about it now?
Alan posts on 4/27/2007 2:50:34 PM Sam, Just to make sure I presume you are aware of J R R Tolkein's admiration for Death of Grass. If I recall correctly (which is never a safe bet to be honest) he was asked in a letter as to what he thought of other writers. He was pretty dismissive saying much didn't appeal to him but he had read a work called Death of Grass which he spoke extremely highly off. Of course, if you aren't a fan of hobbits et al that may not be so interesting but it made me happ to think that a favourite book of mine was so highly rated by another who's work (LOTR)I so admired.
Sam Youd posts on 4/27/2007 9:25:40 AM Alan - thanks again for the kind words on Bad Dream. Age is also a major factor, of course: I don't think even Arthur Clarke is producing nowadays. Michael - I tried to add an addendum re favourite book but the site wouldn't take it. Just to say it would be the books, partic. the last, of the Prince/Sword trilogy, because I think my particular kind of fantasy worked best there. Unfortunately they fell between the adult/young adult stools. Someone recently said he'd enjoyed them at age 8, but that has to be a quite unusual 8. Sam
Alan posts on 4/26/2007 2:41:18 PM Sam, It must be hard to see something like Bad Dream ignored. I have stated previously on here what a tremendous book it is. A proper story and a proper novel and, as I have also stated before, I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up. I'm sorry that things seem so hard now and understand why you cannot see a market for future works. All I can say is that clearly I and many others would love to see a memoir. Thanks
Sam Youd posts on 4/26/2007 6:42:56 AM Michael -- sorry about the incomplete Swan. If I were less old and feeble, or if like my old friend Arthur I had secretarial help, I would certainly do the copying you request, but as it is ..... Nor, I'm afraid, do I feel up to rereading bits of ancient work and summarizing them. I can only say sorry again. Alan -- Age apart, I now have no market, as the reception of Bad Dream showed. I did manage a memoir a year or so ago and this is theoretically there for fiddling with, but at the moment I feel too tired even to fiddle. It is complete, though inadequately revised, and I suppose my executors may eventually find some niche for it. Sam
Michael Leader posts on 4/25/2007 10:43:07 PM Hi Sam, Thanks for having a look for me. I recently tracked down a copy of The Winter Swan on ebay. Unfortunately pages 192-207 were omitted as a printing error - with another section was repeated. (This is actually the second time on one of your books - I had a copy of Long Voyage that was short about 80 pages.) Did I miss much in those Winter Swan pages? The structure is hard to know what was revealed and what wasn't... perhaps you can email me privately. Did this problem occur often? Frustrating, as this book is so rare... perhaps you could copy those pages - I doubt the publisher is still around for a replacement copy!! Another question - any book of yours that you hold as dearest over all others, under any of your pen names, and why?
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