Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Cross, John Keir

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(1914-1967) Scottish editor, scriptwriter for radio and author. Most of his work of interest was for children, either under his own name or as Stephen Macfarlane. Those as by JKC are mostly for YA readers, and often sf. Some titles that evoke fantasy – The Man in Moonlight (1947), The White Magic (1947) and The Dancing Tree (1955) in particular – are actually historical tales, except for The Owl and the Pussycat (1946; vt The Other Side of Green Hills 1947 US). As Macfarlane JKC wrote several fantasies for younger children: The Blue Egg (1944 chap), Lucy Maroon, the Car that Loved a Policeman (1944 chap), Mr Bosanko and Other Stories (coll 1944) and The Strange Tale of Sally and Arnold (1944 chap).

JKC remains best known for his one volume of adult tales, The Other Passenger: 19 Strange Stories (coll 1944; cut vt Stories from The Other Passenger 1961 US), a volume also memorable for its surreal full-colour illustrations by Bruce Angrave (1912-1983), who also illustrated Lucy Maroon, more mildly. Most of the stories here assembled are horror or Dark Fantasy; "The Other Passenger" is an excellent Doppelgänger tale, and "The Glass Eye" one of the better Ventriloquism tales, though only "Clair de Lune" and "Esmeralda", both Ghost stories, are unequivocally supernatural. JKC's anthologies include Best Horror Stories (anth 1957), Best Horror Stories 2 (anth 1965) and Best Black Magic Stories (anth 1960). [JC]

John Keir Cross


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.