Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
(circa 1889-1953) Scottish traveller and author, in USA from 1911; he began publishing his tales of adventure in Pulp magazines from about 1913, some of these, like "The Hand of Saint Ury" (January 1951 Weird Tales), having supernatural content; his nonfiction, in particular The Last of Free Africa (1928) [for subtitle see Checklist], was widely read. Of sf interest are two Lost Race tales: The Inca's Ransom: An Adventure Story (10 July 1924 Adventure; exp 1926), set in the Andes, where a tribe of Indians with ancient links attempt to defend their civilization and their treasure from White entrepreneurs; and Poisonous Mist: An Adventure Story (23 April 1926 Adventure as "The Creek of the Poisonous Mist"; much exp 1927), set far up the Amazon from which a mysterious tributary leads into a hidden land whose inhabitants retain vestiges of an ancient civilization, along with supernatural powers. Richard Bleiler has speculated that MacCreagh, especially through his numerous visits to remote parts of Ethiopia, may have been a model for Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and its sequels.
MacCreagh was not reliable about his own life; his claim that he was born in Perth, Indiana, 1886, for instance, is a fabrication. [JC]
born Scotland: circa 1889
died Pinellas, Florida: 30 August 1953
- The Inca's Ransom: An Adventure Story (New York: Chelsea House, 1926) [hb/]
- Poisonous Mist: An Adventure Story (New York: Chelsea House, 1927) [hb/]
- The Last of Free Africa: The Account of an Expedition into Abyssinia with Observations on the Manners, Customs and Traditions of the Ethiopians with some Pungent Remarks on the Anomalous Political Situation That, at Present, Obtains Between this Ancient Kingdom and the Nations of the World (New York: The Century Company, 1928) [nonfiction: hb/]
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