Friday, 12 September 2008

The Pseudonum, Ray Ainsbury

A Theory of Ray Ainsbury

Ray Ainsbury was reported as the author of ‘When the Moon Ran Wild’ a paperback book published as by ‘Consul Books’ in England, World Distributors (Manchester) Ltd.

The first release of ‘When the Moon Ran Wild’ was in the Amazing Stories Quarterly, Winter 1931, credited to A. Hyatt Verrill, who wrote 25 other stories in the periodical over a span of 10 years.

Wikia Entertainment says

World Distributors (Manchester), Ltd later to be known as World International, Ltd. were a publisher of Doctor Who Annuals from September 1965 until 1985 (with the exception of in 1971 a `1972` Annual).

The company was formed by three brothers; Sidney, John and Albert Pemberton after World War Two. Together they had started selling second hand books before expanding into the publishing market.” (http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/World_Distributors)

Research indicates that ‘Ray Ainsbury’ only wrote/published the one book, in England, eight years after A. Hyatt Verrill’s death. We can conclude that Verrill probably had nothing to do with the modification and republishing of the story he originally published in Amazing Stories Quarterly. One theory could be that an individual plagiarized Verrill’s story – modifying the beginning dates to 1963 and republished under his own name; another could be that the publisher, World Distributors Ltd., is responsible for this new authorship.

Doug Frizzle August 2008


A proposed solution…

From: Phil Stephensen-Payne
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 2:53 AM
To: Doug Frizzle
Subject: Re: Hyatt Verrill and Ray Ainsbury

Hi Doug,

Just today I obtained a copy of Amazing Stories Quarterly, 1931 Winter that contains When the Moon Ran Wild. I had previously worked with the paperback version printed in England in 1962. Now I have the theory that Verrill and his descendents had nothing to do with the paperback. See my little file, I would like an opinion on this.


I have now had a response from one of my colleagues which possibly explains half of it at least:

"Not a plagiarism but certainly an attempt to pass off an old novel as
something new. In the 1940s, Gerald Swan bought reprint rights to a
number of old US pulps; when they sold out to World Distributors in the
1960s, the editor at Consul -- I think it was Victor Briggs at the time
-- was told to use some of the old material from the Swan purchase.

"So I imagine Victor, or whoever it was, chose to issue the book under a
new name to try and fool people into thinking it was a modern,
up-to-date novel rather than a 1930s reprint." Steve Holland

Regards,
Phil S-P


When the Moon Ran Wild

Illustrated by MOREY

By A. Hyatt Verrill

Author of "Astounding Discoveries of Dr. Mentiroso," "The Bridge of Light," etc.

From Amazing Stories Quarterly Winter 1931.

IN the open seas the tides are at their minimum and in the constricted bays they rise to maximum heights, but always tides are principally due to the gravitational attraction of the moon. To the casual layman observer, cosmic life is apparently unchanging. Yet, infinitesimal as the changes are, changes do occur. Suppose that for some reason, beyond our present scientific knowledge or comprehension, the moon, for instance, should increase its speed of rotation or its frequency, which would mean, of course, that it was coming closer to the earth! Notwithstanding that the world remains certain that such a thing can never happen, it is interesting to figure out, scientifically, of course, the various attendant possibilities with their inevitable dangers and results. When that figuring is done a la Verrill, by Mr. Verrill himself, disappointment must go beyond, the bounds of possibility. And it does.

CHAPTER I An Unheralded Phenomenon

AGE has many advantages, that is, if together with age one retains all one's faculties, one's health, strength and energy. It enables one to observe life from the proper angle, in the proper perspective, I might say; to weigh and measure events according to their influences exerted through a long period of time, instead of for the transitory present. It gives one experience impossible to obtain in any other manner. It instills into one a deep knowledge of men and women and of life in general, that only long years can teach. It demonstrates the triviality of many matters deemed most vital by youth. It gives one a calm, peaceful and optimistic point of view. Most of all, it enables one to revisualize most vividly and accurately the events and occurrences of years past, which, as recorded in books or passed down from person to person, are seldom accurate and frequently are most incorrect.

At the time of the occurrence, .of which I write, I was what was then considered an elderly man. Elderly! I smile to myself as I think of that term and what it meant in those days. Barely sixty years of age and "elderly" with the expectation, no, the possibility, of twenty or at most thirty years of life, provided I met with no accident, no serious illness.

Yet now—after more than two centuries have passed —yes, two hundred and fourteen of the old-time years, for it was in the year 1931 of the old calendar that the . moon ran wild, while this year, according to the reckoning of my youth, would be 2145 instead of 165 as we know it—after two centuries and more, as I say, I am still alive, I still retain my health, my strength, my vigor, all my faculties, and am no older, mentally or physically, than on that day in 1931 of the old calendar when I was looked upon, and regarded myself, as an "elderly" man of sixty!

But everything in this world—and for all I know to the contrary in the next as well—is a matter of custom, of habit, of environment and of relativity.

I cannot help thinking—and am personally convinced of the fact—that there was an omnipotent power back of the whole affair; that it had been planned and ordered by the Creator from the beginning of time, and was as inexorable as Fate, and that it was Divine justice that the race, having been all but destroyed, should have been given the blessing of longer and better lives than ever before.

And though I am but poorly fitted for the task and am a most unworthy instrument, who can say that it was not in the Plan for me to have survived where others fell, to have gone through the whole, in order that I might record my experiences for the benefit of my fellow men?

Reasoning from a scientific viewpoint, I feel sure it was but a repetition of a cycle in the history of the universe and of our planet and its satellite.

No doubt, in fact, beyond any possibility of a doubt in my own opinion, each of the recurrent cycles has . . .


WHEN THE MOON RAN WILD

By A. Hyatt Verrill

Digital capture by Doug Frizzle September 2007 from the Ray Ainsbury paperback edition.

Published in 1962, eight years after Verrill’s death, with author listed as Ray Ainsbury in World Distributors, London paperback.

To the casual observer cosmic life is unchanging, yet changes in the world beyond are constantly in progress. The moon for example could increase its rotation or frequency which would naturally mean that it was coming closer to earth. This is what happens when a 10,000 Megaton nuclear bomb is exploded in the outer atmosphere and the resulting chaos destroys nearly ail the population and alters the geographical formation entirely. A fascinating and imaginative Science fiction story of those who survive the disaster and try to build a new civilization in the strange and greatly altered world.

CHAPTER ONE

Age has many advantages, that is, if together with age one retains all one's faculties; one's health, strength, and energy.

It enables one to observe life in the proper perspective; I might say it enables one to weigh and measure events according to their influences, exerted through a long period of time, instead of for a very transitory present. It enables one to acquire experience, and wisdom, impossible to obtain in any other way. It instills in one a deep knowledge of people, of the world around one, and of life in general that can come only through long years of constant association. It demonstrates with absolute conviction the triviality of matters which youth deems vitally important. But perhaps most of all it enables one to revisualize most vividly and accurately the events of years past which, as recorded in books, are seldom wholly accurate and which are very often totally incorrect.

At the time of the occurrence of which I write I was then considered an elderly man. Elderly! In those days sixty years of age was "elderly" with the expectations, no, the possibility, of ten or at the most twenty additional years of life providing one had no malignancy, serious illness or fatal accident.

Yet now - almost two centuries have passed - yes; one hundred and ninety of the old-time years, for it was in the year 1964 of the old calendar that the moon ran wild, while this year according to the reckoning of my youth, would be a. d. 2154 - after almost two centuries, as I say, I am still alive, I still retain my health, my strength, my vigour, all my faculties, and am no older mentally or physically than on that day of 1964 of the old calendar when I looked upon myself as "middle-aged" and by others was considered "elderly".

But everything in this world - and for all I know in the next world as well - is a matter of custom, of habit, of environment and relativity.

I cannot help thinking, and am personally convinced of the fact, that there was an omnipotent power back of the whole affair; that it had been planned and ordained by the Creator from the beginning of time and was as inexorable as Fate, and that it was Divine Justice that the race, having been all but destroyed, should have been given the blessing of greater longevity. And though I am poorly equipped for the task who can say I was not deliberately permitted to survive in order that I might record my experiences for the benefit of those who have come later?

From a scientific standpoint I feel certain what happened was a repetition of a cycle in universal history so far as our planet and its satellite were concerned.

No doubt; in fact, beyond any possibility of a doubt in my mind, each of the recurrent cycles has been shorter and less violent than those preceding it. And while I believe that the same or rather a similar catastrophe will occur again some time in the distant future, I am equally as convinced that the next occurrence will be briefer and of less intensity than this last one. Yet even today and

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.