Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Gordon, John

(1925-2017) UK writer, mostly for YA audiences and mostly of Supernatural Fiction. He is of fantasy interest for his first novel, The Giant Under the Snow (1968), and its sequel, Ride the Wind (1989). The Giant of the first novel is in fact a Green Man, a figure evoked out of the chthonic mounds and hollows that shape an otherwise innocent English countryside; his appearance, at the behest of a supernatural "Warlord" trying to regain the Golden Treasure which will give him dark sovereignty once again, is countered by a good Witch and some children. The sequel repeats the threat, but without the Green Man. Other fantasies include The Edge of the World (1983), whose protagonists are sent by a Liminal Being into an Otherworld where they must perform feats to rescue one of their siblings.

JG's frequent supernatural-fiction tales, many of which involve Ghosts and other invaders of the normal world, include The House on the Brink (1970), which effectively evokes a sense of Wrongness centring on an old black log that is in fact a Mummy; The Ghost on the Hill (1976); The Waterfall Box (1978); which invokes Alchemy; The Spitfire Grave and Other Stories (coll 1979), the title story of which effectively evokes a sense of the surreality of World War II; Catch Your Death and Other Ghost Stories (coll 1984); The Quelling Eye (1986); The Burning Baby and Other Ghosts (coll 1992) and Gilray's Ghost (1995). [JC]

John William Gordon


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.