Alexander Gordon Smith (born 27 February 1979) is an English horror writer, founder of Egg Box Publishing and co-owner of independent production company, Fear Driven Films. He also runs many creative writing talks and workshops around the world, encouraging everyone -particularly children- to write. He's known best for his horror series Escape from Furnace.
Born in Norwich England, Smith's first published book, The Inventors was a collaborative effort by himself and his then eleven year old brother Jamie to run in competition for Wow Factor, a national writing competition run by book publishers Faber and Faber, and Waterstones. Even though it had lost to Sarah Wray's The Forbidden Room, the brothers' manuscript was picked up by Faber and published in 2007. The sequel The Inventors and the City of Stolen Souls was then published in 2008.
In his workshops and writing guides, he believes highly in the idea of writing horror from one's own fears and that horror is a good genre for teenagers and children to read and write more of. Many of his own novels work from these ideas, notably his Furnace series coming from inspiration of a rough patch Gordon went through in his teenage years, and the claustrophobia he had felt when doing research exploring the ideas of the cells.
Alexander Gordon Smith's works include:
- The Inventors (2007)
- The Inventors and the City of Stolen Souls (2008)
The Furnace/Escape from Furnace
- Lockdown (2009)
- Solitary (2010)
- Death Sentence (2011)
- Fugitives (2012)
- Execution (2012)
- The Night Children (2012) - A prequel novella
- Silent Night (2018) - A prequel novella
- The Fury (2012)
- The Stormnote
- Hellraisers (2015)
- Hellfighters (2016)
- Hellwalkers (2017)
H.C.T.I.W.: This Book Will Kill You (2019)
His works features the following tropes:
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Rilke Bastion and Patrick Rebarre
- Author Avatar: With Alex Sawyer, the protagonist of Escape from Furnace. Much of Alex's character came from a period of time in Gordon's teenage years when he'd been in a rough patch that could've gone very dangerous. In earlier drafts of the novel the character is originally named Alex Smith.
- Anyone Can Die: And how, with no shortage in variety.
- Bittersweet Ending: The case of his series so far, goodness and hopes prevails but with the cost of many losses.
- Body Horror: A founding theme in his series.
- Canon Welding: In Hellfighters, Meridiana shows Marlow visions of the multiple universes. In one of these visions, Marlow sees the past villains of Escape from Furnace and The Fury. Before this however, Gordon has teased this multiverse convergence multiple times in AM As.
- Deal with the Devil: The premise and concept of The Devil's Engine.
- Deadpan Snarker: Given that most of his characters are teenagers, many of them fall under this.
- Eldritch Abomination:
- Family-Unfriendly Death: And how!
- From Bad to Worse
- Humanoid Abomination
- I Just Want to Be Normal: All of his protagonists so far have been teenagers chosen and thrown into traumatic horrors they definitely didn't want.
- I Just Write the Thing: While he doesn't really stick to a rigid plan with most of his series, this is most notable in Lockdown in which due to another rough patch in his life, Gordon felt compelled to keep writing the story as it developed in the hopes that helping Alex find his escape would help himself out too.
- Infant Immortality: Averted in horrible, horrible ways.
- Meaningful Name: Obvious in the nicknames of the Engineers (Truck, Night, Pan) but also with the actual names of Marlow, Rilke, Schiller, Zee, Daisy and Brick.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: A running gag in his books.
- Often followed up with a Teeny Weenie remark.
- The Power of Friendship: A frequent theme in Gordon's books as they contain very poignant and heartwarming friendships, often reflected by the characters themselves realising they wouldn't have made as far as they've gone without one another.
- Teens Are Monsters: Reflected in his teenage villains, and the attitude of society in Escape from Furnace.