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Fisk, Nicholas

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of UK musician, illustrator, publisher and author David Lee Higginbottom (1923-2016), who wrote exclusively for children, reportedly beginning to publish short stories before World War Two (none has been identified). After some nonfiction, his first sf tale was Space Hostages (1967), in which his tastes for Hard-SF backgrounds and realistically conceived protagonists were competently expressed in a tale whose young protagonists must learn how to survive after their Spaceship has been hijacked. Other tales demonstrating what he called "believable realism" in speculative venues include Trillions (1971), featuring a kind of alien precursor of Nanotechnology, Grinny (1973), the first volume of the Timothy Carpenter sequence, in which a visiting relative turns out to be a mind-controlling Alien, and Antigrav (1978), in which a stone with Antigravity properties becomes a focus for Cold War rivalry. A Rag, a Bone, and a Hank of Hair (1980), on the other hand, gravely and movingly concentrates on its emotionally torn protagonist, a young genius in an arid far-future Dystopia commanded to observe a small family of reconstructed "primitives", who have been drugged into repeating the same fake 1940 day over and over again, so that he may garner experimental data about raw humans. In the end, both family and protagonist are killed by the masters of the terrible world of World War Two. Some of his later tales, like Dark Sun Bright Sun (1986) – whose young protagonists must deal with issues of Race in SF and Imperialism on a colony planet orbiting two suns (see Colonization of Other Worlds) – adroitly conceal harsh realities under a smoothly amiable mask, as is even more tellingly the case in the late A Hole in the Head (1991), a harrowing tale of the Earth at the brink of ecological catastrophe (Ecology). [JC/DRL]

see also: Children's SF; Radio.

David Lee Higginbottom

born London: 14 October 1923

died England: 10 May 2016

works (selected)


Timothy Carpenter

  • Grinny (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1973) [Timothy Carpenter: hb/Michael Jackson]
  • You Remember Me! (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Viking Kestrel, 1984) [Timothy Carpenter: hb/]
    • Grinny (London: Hot Key Press, 2013) [omni of the above plus Grinny (1973): Timothy Carpenter: pb/]


  • Starstormers (Sevenoaks, Kent: Knight Books, 1980) [Starstormers: pb/]
  • Sunburst (Sevenoaks, Kent: Knight Books, 1980) [Starstormers: pb/]
  • Catfang (Sevenoaks, Kent: Knight Books, 1981) [Starstormers: pb/]
  • Evil Eye (Sevenoaks, Kent: Knight Books, 1982) [Starstormers: pb/Peter Elson]
  • Volcano (Sevenoaks, Kent: Knight Books, 1983) [Starstormers: pb/Peter Elson]

individual titles

collections and stories

works as editor


previous versions of this entry

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