James White

CriticismCommentary

Life
1928-99; b. Belfast, 7 April 1928; grew up in Canada; won scholarship from St John's primary school in Belfast to St Joseph's Technical High School, 1941; school destroyed in the German air-raid, and removed to Cushendun, Co. Antrim; apprenticed as tailor; appt. Publicity Assistant at Short Brothers & Harland, 1966; appt. Publicity Officer, 1968; settled in Andersonstown, W. Belfast; eyesight affected by diabetes, and took early retirement, 1988; moved to Portstewart, Co. Londonderry;

life-long interest in science fiction; read H. G. Wells and acquired num. American science-fiction magazines in post-war Smithfield, Belfast; with Walter Willis, fnd. “Irish Fandom” group and edited Slant and Hyphen fanzines; later joined by Robert Shaw; first pub. story in in New Worlds, 1952; issued first novel as The Secret Visitors (USA 1957) - featuring flying-saucers in Portballintrae; continued with 12-title “Sector General” series of medical sci-fi books; pub. 20 books in all; invited to World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles as as Guest of Honour in 1996, and favourably compared with Arthur C. Clarke;

first science-fiction writer to use specifically Ulster locations; winner of the the Europa Prize, the Analog Analytical Laboratory Award, Science Fiction Chronicle Reader Award, and the Skylark Award of the New England Science Fiction Association; suffered of a stroke and d. 23 Aug. 1999; Guardian Obituary (29 Sept. 1999). RIA.

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