Charles Eric Maine

David McIlwain (21 January 1921 – 30 November 1981)[1] better known by his pen name, Charles Eric Maine, was an English writer best known for several science fiction serials published in the 1950s and 1960s. He also wrote detective thrillers under the pen names Richard Rayner and Robert Wade.[2]


Maine was born in Liverpool, England on 21 January 1921.[3] His writing career began with publishing three issues of a science fiction magazine called The Satellite which he co-edited along with J. F. Burke. From 1940 to 1941, he published his own magazine, called Gargoyle. During World War II, he was in the Royal Air Force and served in Northern Africa in 1943.

After the war, he worked in TV engineering and became involved in editorial work for radio and TV. During 1952, he sold his first radio play, Spaceways, to the BBC.[4] Due to its popularity, it became a novel as well as a movie.[5][6]

One of his best-known novels, Timeliner, was about a scientist who experiments with a time machine, only to be maliciously thrust into the future by a fellow scientist who was having an affair with his wife.[7] It was originally written as a radio play known as The Einstein Highway.[8]

Maine died on 30 November 1981 in London, England.


Satellite science fiction 195806
Maine's 1955 novel, Crisis 2000, saw its first American publication as the cover story for the June 1958 issue of Satellite Science Fiction, under the title "Wall of Fire"
  • Spaceways (1953) (variant title: Spaceways Satellite)
  • Highway J (1953) (reprinted in anthology: Other Worlds, Other Times, 1969)
  • Crisis 2000 (1955 UK, 1959 US)
  • Timeliner (1955)
  • Escapement (1956) (variant title: The Man Who Couldn't Sleep)
  • High Vacuum (1956)
  • The Tide Went Out (1958) (revised in 1977 with variant title: Thirst!)[9]
  • World Without Men (1958) (revised in 1972 with variant title: Alph)
  • Count-Down (1959) (variant title: Fire Past the Future)
  • Subterfuge (1959)
  • Calculated Risk (1960)
  • He Owned the World (1960) (variant title: The Man Who Owned the World)
  • The Mind of Mr. Soames (1961)
  • The Darkest of Nights (1962) (variant title: Survival Margin)
  • B.E.A.S.T. (1966)
  • Alph (1972)



  1. ^ "Summary Bibliography: Charles Eric Maine". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Authors : Maine, Charles Eric : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia".
  3. ^ "Classic Science Fiction: CHARLES ERIC MAINE".
  4. ^ "Monday Matinee 'SPACEWAYS' - Light Programme - 4 February 1952 - BBC Genome".
  5. ^ "Spaceways (1953)".
  6. ^ "Spaceways".
  7. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "Timeliner".
  8. ^ "Radio Theatre presents William Sylvester in 'THE EINSTEIN HIGHWAY' - Light Programme - 21 February 1954 - BBC Genome".
  9. ^ "Summary Bibliography: Charles Eric Maine".
  10. ^ Gale, Floyd C. (February 1958). "Galaxy's 5 Star Shelf". Galaxy Science Fiction. p. 107.

External links

1921 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1921 in the United Kingdom.

Avalon Books

Avalon Books was a small New York-based book publishing imprint active from 1950 through 2012, established by Thomas Bouregy. Avalon was an important science fiction imprint in the 1950s and 60s; later its specialty was mystery and romance books. The imprint was owned by Thomas Bouregy & Co., Inc.. It remained a family firm, with Thomas's daughter Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen taking over as publisher in 1995.On June 4, 2012 it was announced that had purchased the imprint and its back-list of about 3,000 titles. Amazon said it would publish the books through the various imprints of Amazon Publishing.

Beyond Midnight

Beyond Midnight was a South African radio horror anthology series that ran from 1968 to 1970 on Springbok Radio. The program "was a replacement series for SF'68. Michael McCabe served as producer, and adapted stories for both series'. Unlike its sci-fi predecessor, Beyond Midnight served up stories with a supernatural bent." The show was sponsored by Biotex and futured the tagline "Just Soak, Just Soak, Just Soak in Biotex."

Calculated Risk (novel)

Calculated Risk is a 1960 science fiction novel – specifically, a time travel story – by Charles Eric Maine. It was first published in the U. K. by Hodder & Stoughton; a paperback version by Corgi Books appeared in 1962.The novel explores themes of personal moral responsibility, and in particular the responsibility of scientists to prevent abuse of the results of their research. It uses the device of "psychological time travel" whereby a person's mind could be sent across time and take over the brain and body of another person living in that time – similar to the device in Maine's earlier and better-known "Timeliner".

Ed Emshwiller

Edmund Alexander Emshwiller (February 16, 1925 – July 27, 1990), better known as Ed Emshwiller, was an American visual artist notable for his science fiction illustrations and his pioneering experimental films. He usually signed his illustrations as Emsh but sometimes used Ed Emsh, Ed Emsler, Willer and others.

Escapement (film)

Escapement (a.k.a. The Electronic Monster in the U.S.) is a 1958 black and white British science fiction film. It was based on the sci-fi novel Escapement by Charles Eric Maine (London, 1956). Original working titles included Zex, the Electronic Fiend.

The film was released in England (as Escapement) in 1958, but was only shown in the USA in 1960 on a double bill with either 13 Ghosts or the Japanese sci-fi classic Battle in Outer Space.

High Vacuum

High Vacuum is a science fiction novel by Charles Eric Maine. It was first published in 1957 by Ballantine Books.

High vacuum

High vacuum may refer to:

A vacuum with pressure in the range from 100 mPa to 100 nPa

High Vacuum, the 1957 novel by Charles Eric MaineSee also:

Ultra-high vacuum

List of Ace SF letter-series single titles

Ace Books have published hundreds of science fiction titles, starting in 1953. Many of these were Ace Doubles (dos-a-dos format), but they also published many single volumes. Between 1953 and 1968, the books had a letter-series identifier; after that date they were given five digit numeric serial numbers. There were a total of 378 letter-series sf titles(62 S&D, 174 F, 19 M, 78 G, 29 H, 1 N, 1 K, and 14 A series books).

The list given here gives a date of publication; in all cases this refers to the date of publication by Ace, and not the date of original publication of the novels. For more information about the history of these titles, see Ace Books, which includes a discussion of the serial numbering conventions used and an explanation of the letter-code system.

List of Ace titles in first DGS series

Ace Books' first series of paperbacks, the D/G/S series, began in 1952 and ran until 1965, by which time other series from Ace had begun. The D/G/S series used a serial number from 1-599, and a letter code to indicate price. D-series books cost 35 cents; S-series titles were 25 cents; and later there were several G-series books, priced at 50 cents.

Note that there is a separate G-Series, which began in 1964 with independent numbering from this series.

Literature of Birmingham

The literary tradition of Birmingham originally grew out of the culture of religious puritanism that developed in the town in the 16th and 17th centuries. Birmingham's location away from established centres of power, its dynamic merchant-based economy and its weak aristocracy gave it a reputation as a place where loyalty to the established power structures of church and feudal state were weak, and saw it emerge as a haven for free-thinkers and radicals, encouraging the birth of a vibrant culture of writing, printing and publishing.

The 18th century saw the town's radicalism widen to encompass other literary areas, and while Birmingham's tradition of vigorous literary debate on theological issues was to survive into the Victorian era, the writers of the Midlands Enlightenment brought new thinking to areas as diverse as poetry, philosophy, history, fiction and children's literature. By the Victorian era Birmingham was one of the largest towns in England and at the forefront of the emergence of modern industrial society, a fact reflected in its role as both a subject and a source for the newly dominant literary form of the novel. The diversification of the city's literary output continued into the 20th century, encompassing writing as varied as the uncompromising modernist fiction of Henry Green, the science fiction of John Wyndham, the popular romance of Barbara Cartland, the children's stories of the Rev W. Awdry, the theatre criticism of Kenneth Tynan and the travel writing of Bruce Chatwin.

Writers with roots in Birmingham have had an international influence. John Rogers compiled the first complete authorised edition of The Bible to appear in the English Language; Samuel Johnson was the leading literary figure of 18th century England and produced the first English Dictionary; J. R. R. Tolkien is the dominant figure in the genre of fantasy fiction and one of the bestselling authors in the history of the world; W. H. Auden's work has been called the greatest body of poetry written in the English Language over the last century; while notable contemporary writers from the city include David Lodge, Jim Crace, Roy Fisher and Benjamin Zephaniah.

The city also has a tradition of distinctive literary subcultures, from the Puritan writers who established the first Birmingham Library in the 1640s; through the 18th century philosophers, scientists and poets of the Lunar Society and the Shenstone Circle; the Victorian Catholic revival writers associated with Oscott College and the Birmingham Oratory; to the politically engaged 1930s writers of Highfield and the Birmingham Group. This tradition continues today, with notable groups of writers associated with the University of Birmingham, the Tindal Street Press, and the city's burgeoning crime fiction, science fiction and poetry scenes.

Maine (surname)

Maine is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Charles Eric Maine (1921–1981), pen name of David McIlwain, English writer

Henry James Sumner Maine (1822–1888), British legal historian

John Maine (born 1981), American baseball player

Mack Maine (born 1985), American rapper and singer

Scott Maine (born 1985), American baseball playerFictional characters:

Norman Maine, a fictional character in the 1937 film A Star Is Born and the 1954 remake


Spaceways is a 1953 British-American black-and-white science fiction film drama from Hammer Film Productions Ltd. and Lippert Productions Inc., produced by Michael Carreras, directed by Terence Fisher, that stars Howard Duff and Eva Bartok, and co-stars Alan Wheatley. Spaceways was filmed entirely in the UK. American Robert L. Lippert was an uncredited co-producer. The screenplay was written by Paul Tabori and Richard Landau, based on a radio play by Charles Eric Maine. The film was distributed in the UK by Exclusive Films Ltd. and in the United States by Lippert Pictures Inc.

The Mind of Mr. Soames

The Mind of Mr. Soames is a 1970 British-American sci-fi–drama film directed by Alan Cooke and starring Terence Stamp, Robert Vaughn and Nigel Davenport. The film is based on Charles Eric Maine's 1961 novel of the same name.


Timeliner is a 1955 science fiction novel by British writer Charles Eric Maine. It was first published in the U. K. by Hodder & Stoughton; a paperback version by Bantam Books appeared the following year.

The story was originally written as a radio play called The Einstein Highway and was broadcast in the Light Programme of the B.B.C. on February 21, 1954.

Timeslip (1955 film)

Timeslip (known as The Atomic Man in the United States) is a 1955 British black-and-white science fiction film directed by Ken Hughes and starring Gene Nelson and Faith Domergue. Produced by Alec C. Snowden, it is based on the science fiction novel The Isotope Man by Charles Eric Maine, who also wrote the screenplay. In the UK, the film was distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated. In 1956 the film was shortened from 93 minutes to 76 minutes and distributed in the U.S. by Allied Artists Pictures as a double feature with Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.