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Follett, James

Entry updated 29 March 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1939-2021) UK author of fiction and technical material, not to be confused with his cousin, Ken Follett. Some of his early sf work was created for BBC TV and BBC Radio, including The Light of a Thousand Suns (1974) and most famously the Earthsearch sequence, for which he wrote both the radio version – two seasons of ten episodes each, Earthsearch: A Ten-Part Adventure Serial in Time and Space (January-March 1981) and Earthsearch II (January-March 1982) – and the book series, comprising Earth Search: A Science Fiction Fantasy Across Space and Time (1981; rev vt Earthsearch 1993), Earthsearch II: Death Ship (1982; rev vt Deathship 1993) and Mindwarp: Prelude to Earthsearch (1993). The story arc deals with the discovery of a returning Starship crew that Earth has been moved from orbit and disappeared during their million-year absence (resulting from the Relativity effects of travel at near lightspeed); and the consequences of this discovery.

The Pentworth/Temple of the Winds sequence, beginning with Temple of the Winds (2000), takes an sf premise – UFOs seal off an isolated village – and treat the outcome in fantasy terms as the trapped community turns to witchcraft. Follett's standalone sf tends to the Technothriller mode, though he generally morphs technothriller elements into clear-cut sf narratives; stories of interest include The Doomsday Ultimatum (1976; rev 1993); Ice (1978; rev vt Second Atlantis 1998), in which the threat to the world is a giant iceberg; Torus (1990); Trojan (1991), about a Computer virus from Mars; and Savant (1993), set in the first Gulf War and featuring a protagonist with Psi Powers. [JC/DRL]

James Follett

born Tolworth, Surrey: 27 July 1939

died 10 January 2021

works (selected)



Pentworth/Temple of the Winds

  • Temple of the Winds (London: Severn House, 2000) [Pentworth/Temple of the Winds: hb/]
  • Wicca (London: Severn House, 2000) [Pentworth/Temple of the Winds: hb/]
  • The Silent Vulcan (London: Severn House, 2002) [Pentworth/Temple of the Winds: hb/]

individual titles

  • The Doomsday Ultimatum (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1976) [hb/]
  • Ice (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978) [hb/Grant Bradford]
  • Dominator (London: Methuen, 1984) [hb/]
  • Torus (London: Methuen, 1990) [hb/Richard Dunn]
  • Trojan (London: Lime Tree, 1991) [hb/]
  • Savant (London: Heinemann, 1993) [hb/]


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