Jonathan Burke (1922 – 2011)
Jonathan Burke was the working name of English writer John Frederick Burke, who also wrote SF and fantasy under his own name (particularly his short fiction) as well as J F Burke and Robert Miall.
Burke was born in Rye, Sussex, but soon moved to Liverpool, where his father was a Chief Inspector of Police. He became a prominent science fiction fan in the late 1930s, and with David Mcllwain he jointly edited one of the earliest British fanzines. The Satellite, to which another close friend, Sam Youd, was a leading contributor. All three men would become well-known SF novelists after the war, writing as Jonathan Burke, Charles Eric Maine, and John Christopher, respectively.
During the early 1950s he wrote numerous science fiction adventure novels and his short stories appeared regularly in all of the leading SF magazines, most notably in New Worlds and Authentic Science Fiction. In the mid-1950s he worked in publishing and as a public relations executive for Shell, before being appointed as European Story Editor for 20th Century-Fox Productions in 1963.
His cinematic expertise led to his being commissioned to pen dozens of bestselling novelizations of popular film and TV titles, ranging from such movies as A Hard Day’s Night, Privilege, numerous Hammer Horror films, and The Bill. He also did adaptations of Gerry Anderson’s UFO TV series (as Robert Miall). Burke went on to write more than 150 books in all genres, including work in collaboration with his wife, Jean; and also published non-fiction works on an astonishing variety of subjects, most notably music.
After finally settling in the Scottish countryside. Burke continued to write well into his eighth decade, and in later years many of his best supernatural and macabre short stories were collected and anthologized. He died on 21 September 201l, aged 89, shortly after completing his final novel, a contemporary supernatural thriller The Nightmare Whisperers, which was published posthumously in 2012.