(1908-2001) Scottish author known from 1933 for crime thrillers; his autobiographies and Children's SF came later in his career. The first three volumes of his Lost Planet sequence – The Lost Planet (1953), Return to the Lost Planet (1954) and Secret of the Lost Planet (1955) – engagingly described space journeys to reach, explore and ultimately defend the minor planet Hesikos. MacVicar portrayed Hesikos as a "peaceful planet" once mentioned by Plato, and his gentle philosophy outweighed his less certain grasp of science. Well told and atmospheric, these adventures were adapted as Radio and television serials (see The Lost Planet). Later books followed the usual sequels-law of diminishing returns, although Peril on the Lost Planet (1960) retained something of the initial magic. MacVicar's other juvenile fiction lies outside the field, although he again combined adventure with Christian philosophy effectively in The Atom Chasers in Tibet (1957), centred on an ancient secret of eternal life (see Immortality). The Kersivay Kraken (1966 chap), in the non-sf Kersivay sequence, gives sightings of its titular Monster a scientific explanation which, though ingenious, seems less plausible than an actual kraken.
MacVicar's writing was stronger on character and situation than Technology; it is regrettable that he did not essay any adult sf. We can find no evidence for the assertion in The Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction (1990) by Roger Fulton that MacVicar is a pseudonym of Andre Norton. [DR]
born Argyll, Scotland: 28 October 1908
died Campbeltown, Scotland: 31 October 2001
- Tiger Mountain (London: Burke, 1952) [hb/Jack Matthew]
- Satellite 7 (London: Burke, 1958) [hb/Cullen]
- The Kersivay Kraken (London: Harrap, 1966) [chap: other titles in the Kersivay sequence are nonfantastic: illus/hb/Douglas Relf]
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