Back to entry: james_donald | Show links black

James, Donald

Working name of UK scriptwriter and author Donald James Wheal (1931-2008), who also wrote as James Barwick and Thomas Dresden. His work as a scriptwriter for Television series began about 1964; of sf interest were scripts for programmes like Space: 1999, and for individual films like Gerry Anderson's Doppelganger (1999). His first novel of sf interest, The Fall of the Russian Empire (1982), is a Near Future thriller about the end of the USSR; the Inspector Vadim sequence, comprising Monstrum (1997), The Fortune Teller (1999) and Vadim (2001), is less riskily set as regards the actual course of history to come – rather further into the future (circa 2015) and focuses on criminal investigations with a newly totalitarian Russia. Inspector Constantin Vadim is a complex and intriguing figure, evocative for some of the kind of explorer of the interstices between crime and power found in authors like John Le Carré (1931-    ) and Martin Cruz Smith. [JC]

Donald James Wheal

born London: 22 August 1931

died London: 28 April 2008



Inspector Vadim

individual titles


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls and Graham Sleight.
Accessed 19:34 pm on 3 August 2020.