James Follett

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James Follett
Born(1939-07-27)27 July 1939
Tolworth, England
Died10 January 2021(2021-01-10) (aged 81)
GenreScience fiction

James Follett (27 July 1939 – 10 January 2021) was an English author and screenwriter. Follett became a full-time fiction writer in 1976, after resigning from contract work as a technical writer for the Ministry of Defence. He wrote over 20 novels, several television plays and many radio dramas.

He died in January 2021 at the age of 81.[1]



  • The Doomsday Ultimatum (1976)
  • Crown Court (1977)
  • Ice (1978)
  • U-700 (1979), based on his radio play The U-boat that lost its Nerve, in turn based on a true story during World War II.
  • Churchill's Gold (1980)
  • The Tiptoe Boys (1981) (filmed as Who Dares Wins)
  • Earthsearch (1981, a novelization of Follett's radio drama Earthsearch)
  • Deathship (1982, a novelization of Follett's radio drama Earthsearch II)
  • Dominator (1984)
  • Swift (1985). Set in 1996, it foresaw the proliferation of Mobile phones
  • A Cage of Eagles (1989)
  • Mirage (1988). A fictionalised account of the transfer of practically all documents and drawings of the Mirage III to the state of Israel during a temporary French arms embargo in the 1960s, through Sulzer Aircraft in Switzerland. These events led to the creation of the later IAI Kfir jet fighter in the 1970s.
  • Torus (1990)
  • Trojan (1991). Set mainly in 1999, Trojan, predicted high-definition television, hard-drive video recording and keyboard-free touchpad computers.
  • Savant (1993)[2][3]
  • Mindwarp (1993, a prequel to Folllet's radio drama Earthsearch)
  • Those in Peril (1995)
  • Sabre (1997)
  • Second Atlantis (1998, a revised version of Ice)
  • Temple of the Winds (2000)
  • Wicca (2000)
  • The Silent Vulcan (2002 hardback) ISBN 0-7278-5712-6
  • A Forest of Eagles (2004 hardback, a sequel to A Cage of Eagles)
  • Return of the Eagles (2004 hardback, concluding the Eagles trilogy)
  • Hellborn (2009) (eBook)


(AT indicates the play was heard on BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Theatre, a 60-minute slot; JBM that it was in Radio 4's Just Before Midnight 15-minute slot, and SNT: Radio 4's Saturday Night Theatre of 90 minutes.)

  • Rules of Asylum (1973*, 90 minutes), Wiped by the BBC, but kept in the form of a domestic FM recording by Follett himself and subsequently rebroadcast on BBC 7 and since 2011 on BBC Radio 4 Extra in three half-hour instalments.
  • The Light of A Thousand Suns (1974*, SNT), a cold war techno-thriller set in 1995
  • The Doppelganger Machine (1974, AT)
  • Speculator Sport (1974, AT)
  • The U-Boat That Lost Its Nerve (1975, SNT), a WWII historical drama regarding an informal trial of a German U-boat officer in a POW camp.
  • The War in Secret (1975, 3 episodes of 45 mins)
  • The Last Riot (1975, AT)
  • Jumbo (1976, SNT)
  • No Time on Our Side (1976, 60 mins)
  • The Rabid Summer (1976, SNT)
  • The Twisted Image (1977*, AT)
  • The Spanish Package (1977, SNT)
  • The War Behind the Wire (1977, 4 episodes of 45 mins)
  • A Touch of Slander (1977, AT)
  • The Destruction Factor (1978*, SNT; a serial in 6 30-minute parts, ecological science fiction)
  • Vendetta for a Judge (1979, SNT)
  • The Bionic Blob (1979*, JBM)
  • The Devil to Play (1979*, JBM)
  • The Bionic Blob and The Case of the Stolen Wavelengths (1979, JBM)
  • Softly Steal the Hours to Dawn (1979, JBM)
  • The Man Who Invented Yesterday (1980, JBM)
  • The Long Lonely Voyage of U-395 (1980, SNT)
  • Oboe at the Embassy (1980, AT)
  • Earthsearch (1981*, 10 episodes of 30 mins)
  • Earthsearch II (1982*, 10 episodes of 30 mins)
  • A Darkening of the Moon (1986, SNT)
  • Ice (1986*, SNT), based on Follett's novel.
  • Men, Martians and Machines (2003). A three-hour career retrospective for BBC 7 named after the science fiction collection by Eric Frank Russell which had fired Follett's imagination.
  • Temple of the Winds (2009, 8 episodes of 20 mins)
  • Wicca (2004, 8 episodes of 20 mins)
  • Earthsearch Mindwarp (2006, 3 episodes of 45 mins)

An asterisk * after the year means the play has been repeated on BBC7 and/or BBC Radio 4 Extra.


  • Blake's 7 – "Dawn of the Gods" and "Stardrive"
  • Knowhow (eighteen "Hyperspace Hotel" segments of BBC series)
  • Crown Court (six episodes of Granada TV series)
  • The Squad (two episodes for Thames TV series)

Other works[edit]

  • Starglider – a science fiction novella accompanying the 1986 computer game of the same name.
  • Starglider 2 – a science fiction novella accompanying the 1988 computer game of the same name, a sequel to Starglider.
  • Tracker – a science fiction novella accompanying the 1988 computer game of the same name.
  • Lost Eden – a science fiction novella accompanying the 1995 computer game of the same name.


  1. ^ James Follett home page
  2. ^ An entry at OpenLibrary (which does not describe it per se) does exhibit an apparent front-cover-image bearing his name, its title, and "His Breathtaking New Thriller".
  3. ^ An Amazon page includes an unattributed three-sentence summary that includes "... the Iraqi tank which survived the West's most formidable weaponry."

External links[edit]