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Patchett, M E

Entry updated 10 April 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1897-1989) Australian author, long resident in the UK, whose dated but competent Children's SF novels include Kidnappers of Space (1953; vt Space Captives of the Golden Men 1953), a modestly told Space Opera; Adam Troy, Astroman (1954), whose hero protagonist, on assignment to colonize Mars, leaves Earth, which is about to be devastated by an Asteroid, but returns to deal with the Monsters released from Underground by the great Disaster; Lost on Venus: The Thrilling Story of Two Boys Who Land on the Planet and Explore a Fantastic World (1954; vt Flight to the Misty Planet 1954), whose title is self-explanatory; and Send for Johnny Danger (1956), featuring hostile Robots in space. Among the most memorable of her children's genre novels is The Venus Project (1963), in which a British secret agent's investigation of a reported Russian Rocket landing or crash-landing in the outback of Australia's Northern Territory is complicated by the discovery that sinister aquatic Aliens from Venus have travelled with this probe and escaped into Underground rivers; Native Australians with the power of Telepathy provide assistance. Ajax and the Haunted Mountain (1963) is a volume in the Ajax series whose other titles lack fantastic content; Tiger in the Dark (1964) features the discovery of a marsupial tiger in modern Australia; and Farm Beneath the Sea (1969) is set Under the Sea along the Great Barrier Reef.

Patchett's writing is alert, uncondescending, sensitive to animal life and information-full. [JC]

Mary Osborne Elwyn Patchett

born Sydney, New South Wales: 2 December 1897

died Reading, Berkshire: 1989

works (selected)


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