John Baxter was born in Randwick and grew up in Bondi and outback New South Wales. During the 1960s he wrote short stories and was an avid collector of science fiction writing. In 1969 he moved to London where he wrote the novel The Hermes Fall (1978). Baxter also lived in Dublin and Los Angeles where he worked as a film critic, screenwriter and broadcaster. During the 1990s he resided in Paris and has since relocated to London.
James Blackstone is a pseudonym used for works written with John Brosnan (q.v.), while writing in conjunction with Ron Smith (q.v.), Baxter has also published under the pseudonymous name of Martin Loran.