MacIntyre, F Gwynplaine

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(?1948/1949-2010) Allegedly Scots-born writer, who took his name by deed poll in the 1970s. He said that he had written under other pseudonyms before becoming MacIntyre, but they have not been revealed; nor has his birth name. According to his own repeated account, he was sent to Australia as a boy under the infamous UK child-migrant programme; but a brother who was traced or came forward after his death has stated that MacIntyre was not Scots-born (though he had Scots ancestry) and that the Australian exile was a fabrication. MacIntyre, who deliberately confabulated much of his early life and made a point of spreading disinformation about himself, may have begun his career with UK rewrite work – though no complete novels have been verified – for paperback publishers of routine sf in the later 1960s. In this period he claimed to have written, but refused to identify or acknowledge, novels for Badger Books under a pseudonym or House Name or both. He then moved or perhaps returned to the US.

After contributing some material to the Welsh magazine Raven in the 1970s, MacIntyre began publishing work of sf interest with "For Cheddar or Worse" and the more substantial "Martian Walkabout" for Asimov's in January and March 1980, and published further short fiction – some of it intricately clever – for the rest of his career. A few of these stories were assembled with the titular sequence of verses (mostly first seen in Amazing and Asimov's) as MacIntyre's Improbable Bestiary (coll 2001 pod). As a ghost-writer, he claimed to have written parts of Jerzy Kosinski's Pinball (1984), giving a character in the book his own unusual middle name.

His first known novel was an unremarkable contribution to the fourth Tom Swift series (> Tom Swift), The DNA Disaster (1991) as by Victor Appleton; but the first book in his own name is the altogether more interesting The Woman Between the Worlds (1994), a Recursive tale – involving, among others, Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) and Arthur Conan Doyle – set in late-nineteenth-century England. The ambience is less Steampunk than Gaslight Romance [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], given an ornate plot involving a Parallel World run on lines derived from the work of H P Lovecraft, and an invisible woman (> Invisibility) who escapes from that other world, and who fascinates the protagonist by asking him to give her a full-body tattoo, thus making her visible (> Perception).

From 2003, MacIntyre was a regular contributor of book reports to the "Curiosities" department of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. In 2010 he committed suicide by setting fire to his own apartment. [JC/DRL]

see also: Thought Experiment.

Fergus Gwynplaine MacIntyre

born [supposedly] Perthshire, Scotland: ?1948/1949

died New York: 25 June 2010

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