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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

John Rankine

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John Rankine

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Full Name: Douglas Rankine Mason
Born: September 26, 1918
Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales, UK
Died: August 8, 2013
Bristol, England, UK
Occupation: Writer
Nationality: Welsh


John Rankine (born Douglas Rankine Mason) was a British science fiction author. In 1937, Rankine went to study English Literature and Experimental Psychology at the University of Manchester, where he became friends with writer Anthony Burgess. During this period his first works, poems were published in Serpent magazine.

The War loomed, and in August 1939, Mason signed up to the Royal Signals Corp, service in which took him to Africa. In 1945, he met Norma Cooper on a train on his way to officer training, and they married three months later. After the war, he returned to Manchester in 1946 to finish his degree and finally graduated in 1948. With several teaching jobs under his belt, he gained a headship at Sommerville School in Seacombe, then at St Georges in Wallasey Village in 1964.

In 1962, Mason suffered a heart attack -- which gave him the motivation to begin a writing career. In 1966, his first short stories and novels were published while he was in his mid-forties. He published two dozen standalone novels and a similar amount of short fiction over the next 15 years, plus 9 novels set in his Dag Fletcher and Space Corporation universes, and a handful of Space: 1999 tie-in novels. Most of his work was published under the name John Rankine, with a little more of it written as Douglas R. Mason.

Mason retired from teaching in 1978, and went into politics. He served 3 years on the Merseyside County Council representing the Labour party. He stopped writing in the early 1980's when his then agent, told him that the market for Sci-fi had collapsed. He produced another historical novel at this point, but given the agent's obvious lack of interest in his work, he finally decided to stop writing. He'd written over 40 novels and also felt he had 'done his bit'. Mason moved to Grasmere in the Lake District, and became Governor and Vice Chair of Grasmere Primary School, and Secretary of Grasmere Hall.

Persuaded out of writing retirement in 2002, Mason wrote In the Heart of the Flame, the conclusion to the Dag Fletcher story. In 2009, his wife Norma became ill and they moved from Orchard Cottage (which they'd built together) to live near their daughters outside Bristol. Norma died in June that year. Mason passed away on August 8, 2013 at the age of 94.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Space 1999: Year 1

 2. (1975)
 5. (1975)
 6. (1975)
 8. (1976)
 10. (1976)


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