Charles Eric Maine (pseudonym of David McIlwain; 21 January 1921 – 30 November 1981) was an English science fiction writer whose most prominent works were published in the 1950s and 1960s. His stories were thrillers that dealt with new scientific technology


McIlwain was born in Liverpool.

He published three issues of a science fiction magazine called The Satellite which he co-edited along with J. F. Burke. From 1940 to 1941, he published his own magazine called Gargoyle.

During World War II, he was in the Royal Air Force and served in Northern Africa in 1943.

After the war, he worked in TV engineering, and became involved in editorial work with radio and TV. During 1952, he sold his first radio play, Spaceways, to the BBC. Due to its popularity, it became a novel as well as a movie.

One of his best known stories, Timeliner, was about a scientist who experiments with a time machine, only to be maliciously thrust into the future by a fellow scientist who was having an affair with his wife. It was originally written as a radio play known as The Einstein Highway.

He died in London in 1981.

Spaceways (1953) (Variant Title: Spaceways Satellite)
Timeliner (1955)
Escapement (1956) (Variant Title: The Man Who Couldn't Sleep)
High Vacuum (1956)
The Tide Went Out (1958) (Revised in 1997 with Variant Title: Thirst!)
World Without Men (1958) (Revised in 1972 with Variant Title: Alph)
Count-Down (1959) (Variant Title: Fire Past the Future)
Crisis 2000 (1959)
Subterfuge (1959)
Calculated Risk (1960)
He Owned the World (1960) (Variant Title: The Man Who Owned the World)
The Mind of Mr. Soames (1961)
The Darkest of Nights (1962) (Variant Title: Survival Margin)
B.E.A.S.T. (1966)
Alph (1972)