F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre

F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, aka Froggy (retouched).jpg
Born1948 (1948)
Died25 June 2010(2010-06-25) (aged 61–62)
Brooklyn, New York City
Pen nameVictor Appleton, Paul Grant Jeffery, Timothy/Tim C. Allen, Oleg V. Bredikhine
OccupationAuthor, illustrator
GenreScience fiction

Fergus (also Feargus) Gwynplaine MacIntyre (1948 – 25 June 2010),[1] also known as Froggy,[2] was a New York City-based journalist, novelist, poet and illustrator. MacIntyre's writings include the science-fiction novel The Woman Between the Worlds[3] and his anthology of verse and humour pieces MacIntyre's Improbable Bestiary.[4] As an uncredited "ghost" author, MacIntyre is known to have written or co-written several other books, including at least one novel in the Tom Swift IV series, The DNA Disaster,[5] published as by "Victor Appleton" (a house pseudonym) but with MacIntyre's name on the acknowledgements page.

On 25 June 2010, MacIntyre set his Brooklyn apartment on fire and his body was later found there.[1][6]


Little is known about MacIntyte's background, early life or family. Throughout his life, he told various stories about his family, birthplace and childhood that remain unsubstantiated,[7] and which, after his death, his brother confirmed to be fictional.[8] MacIntyre often told people he was orphaned by a Scottish family and raised in an Australian orphanage and a child labour camp.[9] He used the aliases Paul Grant Jeffery, Timothy/Tim C. Allen, Oleg V. Bredikhine, and the nickname Froggy.[10] But a teenage acquaintance alleged that the young MacIntyre spoke then with a plain New York accent from Long Island or Queens, raising questions about his claims of foreign origin.[7] Another acquaintance who knew MacIntyre in his twenties remembered that he still spoke with an American accent, and used the name Jeremy MacIntyre.[11] An acquaintance remembers MacIntyre sharing the reason for the "Gwynplaine" in his name; it was, he said, from the film The Man Who Laughs, based on the Victor Hugo novel,[2] in which the title character, Gwynplaine, has had a permanent smile surgically carved on his face. MacIntyre stated that he identified with Gwynplaine and thus chose the name as part of his own.


In the 1970s, MacIntyre worked for a Manhattan publisher of pornographic novels. Employees were paid $175 per week and expected to produce an entire pornographic novel in that time, as well as a chapter for a compilation-format pornographic book supposedly assembled from the cases of a Dr. Lamb.[11]

Although MacIntyre professionally published many works of non-fiction and literature, he is best known as an author of genre fiction: specifically, science fiction, fantasy, horror and mystery stories. His short stories were published in Weird Tales,[12] Analog, Asimov's Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Absolute Magnitude, Interzone,[13] The Strand Magazine and numerous anthologies, including Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction of the Year #10,[14] Michael Reaves and John Pelan's mystery/horror anthology Shadows Over Baker Street,[15] James Robert Smith and Stephen Mark Rainey's horror anthology Evermore, and Stephen Jones's The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. For Mike Ashley's The Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives (1995), MacIntyre wrote "Death in the Dawntime", a locked room mystery (or rather, sealed cave mystery) set in Australia around 35,000 BC, which editor Mike Ashley suggests is the furthest in the past a historical whodunnit has been set.[16]

A characteristic of MacIntyre's writing (both fiction and non-fiction) is his penchant for coining new words and resurrecting obscure words. Language authority William Safire acknowledged MacIntyre's neologism of "Clintonym"[17][18] and quoted his historical etymology research.[19][20]

MacIntyre illustrated Ron Goulart's story "The Robot Who Came to Dinner" in Analog (July–August 2002).

In addition to publishing science fiction in Analog, MacIntyre also contributed to that magazine as an artist, illustrating his own stories and one by Ron Goulart.[21]

MacIntyre wrote a considerable number of book reviews for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.[22] In the July 2003 issue of that magazine, MacIntyre mentioned that he was related to the wife of Scottish author Eric Linklater. It is unclear whether this was one of the many fabrications about his life that MacIntyre's brother later confirmed to be untrue. MacIntyre had previously stated (in interviews and at science-fiction conventions) that he was estranged from his abusive family and did not acknowledge them.[23] He had legally changed his name, officially filing a deed poll: "Fergus MacIntyre" was therefore his legal name but not his birth name. He had acknowledged that he took the name "Gwynplaine" from the protagonist of The Man Who Laughs, a novel by Victor Hugo.[23]

MacIntyre claimed to have contributed substantial script material to a 2006 documentary about actress Theda Bara, The Woman with the Hungry Eyes:[24] he claimed his contributions included the film's title and an interview he had conducted with author Fritz Leiber. He is only listed under the "Special Thanks" section of the credits; MacIntyre claimed to be contractually prevented from receiving a screenplay credit.[25]

Legal issues

In 2000, MacIntyre was arrested after a neighbour said he duct-taped her to a chair, shaved her head, and spray-painted her black. He later plead guilty to third-degree misdemeanor assault.[9]


In the months leading up to his death, MacIntyre became increasingly depressed and despondent. He sent mass emails to friends where he spoke of being troubled by his childhood (he would describe his family as "deeply evil people") and referenced suicide. He had also lost his night job as a printer and claimed to have health problems including synaesthesia.[7] One day before his death, MacIntyre posted a review of the silent German science fiction film Metropolis (1927), titled "My favourite film, my last review" on IMDb.[26]

On 24 June 2010, police were called to MacIntyre's Bensonhurst apartment after a friend received a mass email from MacIntyre that alluded to suicide. Six police officers forcibly removed MacIntyre from the apartment as he yelled that he wanted to die and take "everyone in the building down with me". He was taken to Coney Island Hospital for psychiatric evaluation and released hours later. MacIntyre returned to his apartment and sent off an angry mass email admonishing the person who called the police. At around 9:30 a.m. on 25 June, MacIntyre, who was a long time hoarder, lit the contents of his apartment on fire. The fire quickly engulfed the building and took sixty firefighters more than an hour to extinguish.[9] MacIntyre's body was later found among the burned debris. He was the only fatality in the fire as the other residents were quickly evacuated.[7]

After his death, MacIntyre's brother came forward and stated that MacIntyre's life story was in fact fabricated, but did not provide any details about his real-life story- save that they did have Scottish ancestry- or the reasons for his fabrications and affectations.[8]



Novels and collections include:

  • The Woman Between the Worlds (1994, ISBN 0-440-50327-2 and 2000, ISBN 0-595-08884-8)
  • MacIntyre's Improbable Bestiary (2005, ISBN 1-58715-472-2)

Short stories

Short stories include:

  • Asimov's Science Fiction:
    • "For Cheddar or Worse" (volume 4 number 11, November 1980)
    • "Martian Walkabout" (volume 5 number 13, December 1981)
    • "Isle Be Seeing You" (volume 6 number 4, April 1982)
  • Amazing Stories:
    • "The Man Who Split in Twain" (May 1986)
  • Weird Tales:
    • "The Ones Who Turn Invisible" (#293, 1988)
    • "Beddy-Bye" (Summer, 1998)
  • Absolute Magnitude:
    • "The Minds Who Jumped" (Spring 1995)
  • Albedo One, (Ireland):
    • "An Actor Prepares" (#20, 1999)
  • Analog Science Fiction and Fact:
    • "OOPS!" (March 1991)
    • "Teeny-Tiny Techno-Tactics" (March 1997)
    • "Time Lines" (June 1999)
    • "A Real Bang-Up Job" (July 2000)
    • "'Put Back That Universe!'" (October 2000)
    • "Schrödinger's Cat-Sitter" (July 2001)
    • "A Deadly Medley of Smedley" (April 2003)
    • "Annual Annular Annals" (January 2004)
  • Interzone, (Britain):
    • "Sundowner Sheila" (February 2006)
  • The Strand Magazine:
    • "Down the Garden Path" (February 2008)
  • Esli, (Russia):
    • "Random" (July 2008)
    • "Smart Fashions" (June 2009; cover story)
    • "Boarder Incidence" (February 2010)
  • Space and Time:
    • "Another Fine Messiah" (#110, Spring 2010)
  • SF Magajin, (Japan):


  1. ^ a b "F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre Apparently Dead in Suicide", Locus, 28 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b Fowler, Christopher (29 May 2011). "Invisible Ink: No 79 - Fergus Gwynplaine MacIntyre". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  3. ^ The Woman Between the Worlds title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  4. ^ MacIntyre's Improbable Bestiary title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  5. ^ The DNA Disaster title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  6. ^ Lavis, Ryan (26 June 2010). "Depressed Brooklyn man kills himself by setting fire to his apartment", New York Daily News, giving his age as 59. link dead 12 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Kilgannon, Corey (15 September 2010). "Remembrances of the Enigmatic Froggy". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  8. ^ a b Van Gelder, Gordon (May–June 2011), "Editorial - May/June 2011", Fantasy and Science Fiction
  9. ^ a b c Kilgannon, Corey (10 September 2010). "Froggy's last story". The New York Times
  10. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (10 September 2010). "Fiery End for an Eccentric Recluse" Archived 22 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b Goodman, Jeff (2012). "My Friend Froggy". Biblio-Curiosa: Unusual Writers / Strange Books. Haymarket, Australia: Chris Mikul (3): 14–24.
  12. ^ [1] Archived 5 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Interzone #202". Ookami.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  14. ^ Contents Lists Archived 20 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Charles Prepolec. "Shadows Over Baker Street - Sherlock Holmes & Lovecraft - Reviewed". Bakerstreetdozen.com. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  16. ^ Ashley, Mike (1995). The Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives. London: Robinson Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 1-85487-406-3.
  17. ^ Safire, William (2 December 2001). "On Language; Clintonyms". The Way We Live Now. The New York Times Magazine. p. 48. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  18. ^ Safire, William (2004). The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine. Simon and Schuster. p. 48. ISBN 0-7432-4244-0. Retrieved 6 December 2011. quote: "The most memorable Clintonism or Clintonym (a coinage of F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre)"
  19. ^ Safire, William (2004). The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine. Simon and Schuster. p. 379. ISBN 0-7432-4244-0. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  20. ^ Safire, William (19 July 2009). "On Language; Vogue-Word Watch". The New York Times Magazine. p. 14. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  21. ^ F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre - Summary Bibliography
  22. ^ Turner, Rodger. "Fantasy and Science Fiction Departments: Curiosities". SF Site. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  23. ^ a b "F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre's Alleged F.A.Q". SFF Net. Retrieved 17 April 2009.[dead link]
  24. ^ The Woman with the Hungry Eyes at IMDb
  25. ^ F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre at IMDb
  26. ^ "Metropolis (1927): My favourite film, my last review". Internet Movie Database.


External links