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(1903-1973) Extremely prolific author born in the UK but latterly of Somerset West, Cape Province, South Africa; she also lived in India, New Zealand, and Egypt, finally settling in South Africa in the late 1940s. In quantity and quality her output ranks with that of John Creasey and Lauran Paine; many of her supposed 904 books were routine romances or crime thrillers. Most of her sf appeared under the Pseudonym Nigel Mackenzie. One early sf title as by Lindsay is Unbroken Barriers (1940), in which space explorers crash-land in hostile territory. The Valley of Doom (1947) as by Mary Richmond is a Lost-World tale set in Peru. The Terrible Awakening (1949) as by Hugh Desmond sees Earth threatened by terminal Disaster from an approaching fragment of another world; it is abandoned for a safer planet. Fear Rides the Air (1953) as by Hugh Desmond is of only moderate sf interest.
Somewhat more imaginative is The Grim Tomorrow (1953) as by Mary Richmond, whose UK protagonists fail to avert a Teutonic atomic Holocaust, but who survive, after being flung into space on a chunk of England fortunately large enough that they can start a new life. The tale's telling is less incompetent than its science; the author's preface styles it a sincere warning about the dangers of atomic war. Perhaps inspired by this effort, Lindsay quickly produced ten further sf novels, all as by Nigel Mackenzie; some are linked by the series character Prof Christopher Fenton. Invasion from Space (1954) maintains the cautionary aspect of The Grim Tomorrow in that the Martians invade (see Invasion; Mars) to prevent us destroying Earth with our atomic weapons, but subsequent books mainly reprise basic sf ingredients, such as the Space Flight from disaster in World Without End (1955) or the lunar Aliens in The Moon Is Ours (1958), for which the cover art seems more restrained than the story. Finally Lindsay seemed to lose interest in sf, giving her anti-nuclear theme a standard thriller treatment in Suicide Fleet (1959) as by Desmond. Overall, despite a few effective scenes in some books, her speed of production never allowed her sf the depth and polish her better concepts deserved.
Other works include many romance novels under the names Margaret Cameron, Jane Darnley, Mary Faulkner, Elizabeth Fenton, Kathleen Lindsay, Betty Manvers, Mary Richmond and Molly Waring; crime/espionage thrillers as by Hugh Desmond and Nigel Mackenzie; and miscellaneous others, including Poems in Passing (1943) as by Cameron. [JC/DR/DRL]
born Aldershot, Hampshire: 1903
died ?South Africa: 1973
as by Mary Richmond
as by Hugh Desmond
as by Nigel Mackenzie
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 09:26 am on 14 August 2022.