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Phillifent, John T

Entry updated 25 April 2020. Tagged: Author.

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(1916-1976) UK electrical engineer and author of much sf and works in other genres; though he claimed to reserve his best material for publication under his own name; he was, however, probably better known under his pseudonym John Rackham, the name he used for most of his work. [Phillifent and Rackham titles are separated in the Checklist below]. He began writing sf with the Space Puppet series for Pearson's Tit-Bits SF Library as Rackham: Space Puppet (1954 chap), Jupiter Equilateral (1954 chap), The Master Weed (1954 chap) and Alien Virus (1955 chap). He produced also a fantasy series, the Chappie Jones stories, for Science Fantasy, beginning with "The Veil of Isis" (June 1961 Science Fantasy); these stories were assembled as The Touch of Evil (coll of linked stories 1963) as by Rackham. Watch on Peter (1964) as by Rackham, a Young Adult tale involving its young protagonist with the Invention of a hovercar, did not lead to a career in that genre. In the mid-1960s his career picked up some steam with a flow of Rackham Space Operas for Ace Books, beginning with We, the Venusians (1965 dos) and Danger from Vega (1966 dos), and continuing with others of the same unambitiously readable nature. Under his own name, Phillifent produced in the 1970s some sf novels of real competence, including Hierarchies (October-November 1971 Analog; 1973 dos) and King of Argent (1973), an entertaining adventure set on an agreeably strange planet. Through his writing career, he remained a reliable producer of the second-rank but convention-savvy fiction demanded by an entertainment genre hungry for copy. [JC]

John Thomas Phillifent

born Durham, County Durham: 10 November 1916

died London: 15 December 1976


as John T Phillifent


The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Interstellar Security

individual titles

as John Rackham


Space Puppet

Series for Pearson's Tit-Bits Library.

individual titles


previous versions of this entry

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