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Mackel, Kathryn

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1950-    ) US screenwriter and author who writes for adult and Young Adult readers as Kathryn Mackel, and for younger readers as Kathy Mackel. Her work throughout is infused with Christian beliefs and advocacies, which govern her deployment of sf tropes, so that events initially seen as sf soon become Equipoisal between sf and supernatural fiction before unfolding in terms of dramas where the End of the World is couched as a Godgame drama designed to separate sinners from those Christians eligible to experience the Rapture, and supplants any equipoise the text may have presented; she is listed as an advisor for the film Left Behind (2000), based on the series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins.

Mackel's first novels for adults, like The Surrogate (2004), are exercises in supernatural horror. The Birthright Project, comprising Outriders: Book One in the Birthright Project (2005) and Trackers: The Birthright Project: Book Two (2006), is set in a Ruined Earth America where Christians, guarded by squads of Outriders, attempt to redeem the land and to give birth to new stock; in the second volume, more details about the Antarctic Keep from which the missionaries come (riding on whales) begin to emerge. Vanished (2007) – all that has so far appeared in the Christian Chillers Series – is set in a small city suddenly wrenched from twenty-first century New England into a wilderness world, a process rather resembling what happens to the inhabitants of Saugersville in Josephine Young Case's At Midnight on the 31st of March (1938); perils surround them.

More lightheartedly, Alien in a Bottle (2004) as Kathy Mackel describes the discovery that a genie in a bottle is a crashed Alien trapped in his tiny ship (see Great and Small). Some other titles under this name contain fantasy elements. [JC]

Kathryn Mackel

born 19 August 1950



Birthright Project

individual titles

  • The Surrogate (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2004) [pb/]
  • Alien in a Bottle (New York: HarperCollins, 2004) as Kathy Mackel [hb/Martin Matje]
  • The Departed (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2005) [pb/]
  • The Hidden (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2006) [pb/]
  • Vanished (Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House, 2007) [no further volumes published: Christian Chiller Series: pb/]


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