John Boland (author)

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Bertram John Boland (12 February 1913 – 9 November 1976) was a British novelist and science fiction author.

Boland was born in Birmingham, but later lived in East Sussex, on the edge of Ashdown Forest with his wife, Philippa.[1]
His most well known book was The League of Gentlemen (1958) which was released as a film. However, characters' names and the ending were changed.[2] He wrote two sequels:

  • The Gentlemen Reform (1961)
  • The Gentlemen at Large (1962)

They continued with the characterisations developed in the film.

His first novel "White August" (1955) was a science fiction weather control disaster story. His second, "No Refuge" (1956) begins as a bank robbery crime story but them changes into science fiction, depicting a futuristic lost world.[3] In this world children get much of their education from computers and adults walk around with a small device on their chest, listening to music through earpieces.[4]

As well as novels, he published short stories in science fiction magazines, including Galaxy Science Fiction and New Worlds.[3]

Boland was closely involved with Swanwick writers' summer school becoming its chairman in 1958[5]



  • White August (Michael Joseph: 1955)
  • No Refuge (Michael Joseph: 1956)
  • Queer Fish (Boardman: 1958)
  • The League of Gentlemen (Boardman: 1958)
  • Mysterious Way (Boardman: 1959)
  • Operation Red Carpet (Boardman: 1959)
  • Bitter Fortune (Boardman: 1959)
  • The Midas Touch (Boardman: 1960)
  • Negative Value (Boardman: 1960)
  • The Gentlemen Reform (Boardman: 1961)
  • Inside Job (Boardman: 1961)
  • The Golden Fleece (Boardman: 1961)
  • Vendetta (Boardman: 1961)
  • The Gentlemen at Large (Boardman: 1962)
  • Fatal Error (Boardman: 1962)
  • Counterpol (Harrap: 1963)
  • The Catch (Harrap: 1964)
  • Counterpol in Paris (Harrap: 1964)
  • The Good Citizens (Harrap: 1965)
  • The Disposal Unit (Harrap: 1966)
  • The Gusher (Harrap: 1967)
  • Painted Lady (Cassell: 1967)
  • Breakdown (Cassell: 1968)
  • The Fourth Grave (Cassell: 1969)
  • The Shakespeare Curse (Cassell: 1969)
  • Kidnap (Cassell: 1970)
  • The Big Job (Cassell: 1970)
  • The Trade of Kings (Forest House: 1972)
  • Holocaust (Futura: 1974)


  • Free-Lance Journalism
  • Short Story Writing


  1. ^ a b Biography and bibliography taken from the dust jacket of The Gentlemen at Large. Published by Forest House Books.
  2. ^ The book ends with the main character shooting himself. In the film, he gives himself up to the police.
  3. ^ a b SF Encyclopedia John Boland
  4. ^ John Boland (1956) "No Refuge" (Michael Joseph, London) pages 107 and 66 respectively
  5. ^ Martin, Nancy (1983). Venture of Faith – A History of Swanwick. Worthing: H.E. Walter Ltd. ISBN 0 85479 066 7.


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