F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, 1948-2010
“Straight on till mourning!”
That was the end of the last public announcement of science fiction author F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, when he posted a note that said he’d be getting away from it all for a while and might be some time in getting back. At the time, some folks thought it was a typo.
Sadly, it wasn’t. It appears that he was tremendously depressed and killed himself last Friday by setting his Brooklyn apartment on fire.
“Froggy” was a was a Scottish-born journalist, novelist, poet and illustrator, who
lived in Wales and New York City. His writings include the
science-fiction novel The
Woman Between the Worlds
and his anthology of verse and humor pieces MacIntyre’s Improbable Bestiary. As an uncredited “ghost” author, he was known to have written or
co-written several other books.
In the early 1960s, under his previous name, MacIntyre was an
employee of Lew Grade and worked as a trainee technician on the crews of
the television series The
Champions and The
Prisoner— which explained the jacket you often saw him in, the one in the photograph.
I didn’t know him well, and I’d be hard-pressed to say anybody did– Teresa Nielsen Hayden reminded me, “Right after 9/11, every NYC group and community was constantly,
informally checking to see whether anyone was missing. In the New
York-area SF community, MacIntyre was the last person I know of who was
confirmed to be okay, and the confirmation came a month or two after the
attacks.” I remember commenting at the time, when we were all searching– how would we know? Who could we check with?
He was a man who lived his life in a sort of constant pain– he took the name Gwynplaine from the Victor Hugo novel The Man Who Laughs, which comic fans know was made into a film which served as the inspiration for the Joker– a man twisted by devastating events into something horrific. That he chose to reference that gives you an idea about the man.
It will be strange not to see him on the periphery of events anymore. He will be missed.