John Gordon

John (Jack) William Gordon (19 November 1925 – 20 November 2017) was an English writer of young-adult supernatural fiction. He wrote sixteen fantasy novels including The Giant Under the Snow, four short story collections, over fifty short stories, and a teenage memoir.

Most of Gordon’s novels are in the supernatural fantasy and horror genres and feature teenagers in the central roles. The adventures are often set in the Fens, an environment Gordon found mysterious and inspirational in his own adolescence, and contain elements of East Anglian folklore such as the doom dogBlack Shuck. His work has been compared to that of the acclaimed ghost novelist M.R. James. Indeed, The House on the Brink (1970) is regarded by admirers as one of the greatest novels in the Jamesian Tradition.[1]

His short stories have appeared in more than 50 anthologies and other publications and he is included in The Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English.[2] His work has been translated into many languages, including Japanese, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Czech, Spanish, Polish and Lithuanian.

Books in order of publication by series:


  • The Giant Under the Snow (1968)
  • The House on the Brink (1970)
  • The Ghost on the Hill (1976)
  • The Waterfall Box (1978)
  • The Edge of the World (1983)
  • The Quelling Eye (1986)
  • The Grasshopper (1987)
  • Ride the Wind (1989) – sequel to The Giant Under the Snow
  • Secret Corridor (1990)
  • Blood Brothers (1991)
  • Gilray’s Ghost (1995)
  • The Flesh Eater (1998)
  • The Midwinter Watch (1998) – The Guardian Children’s Book of the Week[9]
  • Skinners (1999)
  • The Ghosts of Blacklode (2002)
  • Fen Runners (2009)


  • The Spitfire Grave and Other Stories (1979)
  • Catch Your Death and other ghost stories (1984)
  • The Burning Baby and other ghosts (1992)
  • Left in the Dark: The Supernatural Tales of John Gordon (2006)

Anthologies edited (selected)

  • The Walker Book of Ghost Stories (1990)
  • Best New Horror 4 (1993)
  • The Young OXFORD Book of Ghost Stories (1994)
  • The Puffin Book of Horror Stories (1994)
  • Dancing with the Dark (1997)
  • The Mammoth Book of Dracula: Vampire Tales for the New Millennium (1997)
  • Best New Horror 18 (2007)


  • Ordinary Seaman – a teenage memoir (1992)
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