Harris, MacDonald

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym used by US academic and author Donald William Heiney (1921-1993) for most of his fiction from 1947 on; though composed in a smooth and accessible style, his novels (all as by Harris) tend significantly and non-mimetically to foreground any elements of fantasy (see Fabulation) with which they may deal. Bull Fever (1973) treats a modern family romance in terms of the myth of the Minotaur. The Balloonist (1976) recounts a failed 1897 Balloon expedition to the North Pole in terms reminiscent of Jules Verne's Voyages extraordinaires; indeed, the book is dedicated to Verne. The Carp Castle (2012), on the other hand, treats a 1920s expedition by Airship (see Ship of Fools) as a Fantastic Voyage towards an Arctic Utopia envisioned in terms of Theosophy. The Little People (1986) takes its title from the myth of faerie, though in a delusional frame. Glowstone (1987) posits a kind of Alternate History in which a woman strongly reminiscent of Marie Curie (1867-1934) makes identical scientific discoveries. Screenplay (1982), a Time-Travel tale, deposits its hero in a film-noir version of 1920s Hollywood (see California). Three of the stories assembled in The Cathay Stories and Other Fictions (coll 1988) carry a contemporary Marco Polo involuntarily backwards in time to the increasingly fabulous world of the original Polo (1254-1324). [JC/GF]

Donald William Heiney

born South Pasadena, California: 7 September 1921

died Newport Beach, California: 24 July 1993

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