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Mason, Douglas R

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1918-2013) UK junior-school headmaster and prolific author after 1964, both under his own name and as John Rankine (Rankine being his middle name); he was generally silent from about 1980 until his death, though some material was released or re-released in ebook form in 2003. His first story was "Two's Company" as by Rankine in John Carnell's New Writings in SF 1 (1964), and he was soon publishing two to three books a year, focusing under the Rankine name on generally routine Space Operas and other adventures. The Dag Fletcher series of Space Operas as by Rankine, was initiated in his first book, The Blockade of Sinitron: Four Adventures of Dag Fletcher (coll of linked stories 1966), and continued with Interstellar Two-Five (1966), One Is One (1968), The Plantos Affair (1971), The Ring of Garamas (1972) and The Bromius Phenomenon (1973). The series is set in a galactic environment shared by other Rankine titles including The Fingalnan Conspiracy (1973) and The Thorburn Enterprise (1977). As Rankine he also wrote several Ties to Space: 1999 (1975-1977).

Occasionally, under his own name – as with From Carthage then I Came (1966; vt Eight Against Utopia 1967), Matrix (1970), The Phaeton Condition (1973) and Pitman's Progress (1976) – Mason would attempt more ambitious novels containing some social comment; some of these would be set in a sometimes disguised Wirral, near Liverpool. Generally speaking, however, he seemed content to produce rather low-pressure work, though the republication in the twenty-first century of some of his better tales, along with some new matter, suggests that his career and accomplishments may be of greater interest than previously assumed. [JC]

see also: Cities; The Day After Tomorrow; Mathematics; New Writings in SF.

Douglas Rankine Mason

born Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales: 26 September 1918

died Bristol, England: 8 August 2013


as by John Rankine


Dag Fletcher

Space Corporation

Space: 1999

individual titles

as Douglas R Mason


  • Tuo Yaw (Wallasey, Merseyside: Golden Apple, 2003) [coll: first released as an ebook in 2003: pb/]


previous versions of this entry

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