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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