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Cameron, Eleanor

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1912-1996) Canadian-born US author whose career was exclusively devoted to children's literature, and who received the National Book Award in 1974 for one of her finer fantasies, The Court of the Stone Children (1973). She remains perhaps best known for the sf Mushroom Planet sequence with which she began her career: The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet (1954), Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet (1956), Mr Bass's Planetoid (1958), A Mystery for Mr Bass (1960) and Time and Mr Bass (1967), the last expanding on the Arthurian understory only implicit in earlier volumes, Mr Bass being a descendant of a figure similar to Merlin [for Arthur and Merlin see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. At the heart of the series is Mr Tycho Bass, whose mysterious filter permits his young friends – who have built him a Spaceship for the purpose of travelling there – to perceive the planet Basidium. Though perhaps slightly wholesome, the adventures of Bass and his companions on Basidium became, with justice, extremely popular.

In the early 1970s, Cameron became involved in a polemical dispute with Roald Dahl, in which – with backing from Ursula K Le Guin – she took him to task for political incorrectness, spitefulness, etc. Her later Julia Redfern sequence, which was not sf or fantasy, was of moderate interest to some readers; among her later works was also Beyond Silence (1980), a Timeslip fantasy. [JC]

Eleanor Frances Butler Cameron

born Winnipeg, Manitoba: 23 March 1912

died Pacific Grove, California: 11 October 1996



Mushroom Planet

other fiction

about the author


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