Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
Pseudonym of UK author Donald Gordon Payne (1924-2018), who served in World War Two as a Fleet Air Arm pilot. His sf as Cameron includes two Lost Race novels, The Lost Ones (1961; vt The Island at the Top of the World 1968; rev 1974), set in a warm Viking enclave at the North Pole, and The Mountains at the Bottom of the World (1972; vt Devil Country 1976), set in the southern Andes, where a missing link (see Apes as Human; Evolution) is discovered. The former was filmed by Disney as The Island at the Top of the World (1974). The mechanics of these Cameron plots are generally conventional: in the case of the second novel, they derive from Arthur Conan Doyle specifically.
Star-Raker (1962), with E E Vielle writing together as by Donald Gordon, is a straightforward Technothriller adventure about a then-futuristic supersonic aeroplane prototype whose test pilots mysteriously develop cancer; his other novels under the Gordon byline – presumably with Vielle, though hard evidence is lacking – are similar, featuring Near Future Cold War plots.
This author also wrote mainstream fiction as by James Vance Marshall, his most popular work under this name being The Children (1959; vt Walkabout 1959), a kind of First Contact tale in which two child survivors of a plane crash in the Australian outback are befriended by an Aborigine on walkabout; there are various failures of Communication. It was filmed with significant plot changes as Walkabout (1971), directed by Nicolas Roeg. [JC/PN/DRL]
Donald Gordon Payne
born London: 3 January 1924
died Redhill, Surrey: 22 August 2018
- The Children (London: Michael Joseph, 1959) [hb/]
- Walkabout (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1959) [vt of the above: hb/]
- The Lost Ones (London: Hutchinson, 1961) [hb/]
- Star-Raker (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1962) as by Donald Gordon [hb/]
- Flight of the Bat (New York: William Morrow, 1964) as by Donald Gordon [hb/]
- Leap in the Dark (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1970) as by Donald Gordon [hb/]
- The Mountains at the Bottom of the World (New York: William Morrow, 1972) [hb/Terry M Fehr]
- Devil Country (London: Pan Books, 1976) [vt of the above: pb/Alan Lee]
- The White Ship: A Novel of Adventure (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1975) [hb/]
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