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Verrill, A Hyatt

Entry updated 12 July 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1871-1954) US naturalist, explorer and author, most of whose circa 105 books were nonfiction; he contributed a science column to American Boy. He also wrote juveniles, of which the Boy Adventurers sequence is of some sf interest, most of them being Lost Race tales; relevant titles, all set in differing lost regions of British Guiana, include The Boy Adventurers in the Forbidden Land (1922), The Boy Adventurers in the Land of El Dorado (1923), The Boy Adventurers in the Land of the Monkey Men (1923), an Apes as Human tale, and The Boy Adventurers in the Unknown Land (1924), where the cast this time discovers a prehistoric City. The Radio Detectives Under the Sea (1922) is the most sf-like of his Radio Detectives children's sequence (see Radio Boys), featuring an Invention which allows the lads to go deep Under the Sea without a breathing hose.

His more adult novels explore similar territory, the best of the lot probably being The Golden City: A Tale of Adventure in Unknown Guiana (1916), set in British Guiana, which precedes the Boy Adventurer tales (see above), featuring an extremely ancient Lost World whose inhabitants had been destroyed by a meteor, and an Apes as Human precursor of Homo sapiens; and The Bridge of Light (Fall 1929 Amazing Stories Quarterly; 1950), also in South America, where Verrill did much of his real-life exploration (whose extent he reportedly exaggerated). Several book-length tales later appeared in Amazing and Amazing Stories Quarterly, including Bridge of Light (Fall 1929 Amazing Stories Quarterly; 1950) and When the Moon Ran Wild (Winter 1931 Amazing Stories Quarterly as Verrill; 1962) as by Ray Ainsbury (it is not known why this title was thus ascribed). Those which did not reach book form include The Green Prism sequence comprising "Into the Green Prism" (March-April 1929 Amazing) and Beyond the Green Prism (January-February 1930 Amazing; 2016 dos), the titular prism uncovering to view a microscopic City, and then making it possible (see Miniaturization) for the protagonist to visit the Princess there. Verrill's work shows the marks of a somewhat desultory interest in fiction, and of the Pulp-magazine markets he served, but does vividly dramatize his professional concerns. [JC]

see also: Anthropology.

Alpheus Hyatt Verrill

born New Haven, Connecticut: 23 July 1871

died Chiefland, Florida: 14 November 1954

works (selected)

series

Cloven Foot

Radio Detectives

Boy Adventurers

individual titles

collections

  • Scientifiction (Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia: Stillwoods, 2008) [coll: edited by Doug Frizzle: pb/]
  • Scientifiction 2 (Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia: Stillwoods, 2008) [coll: edited by Doug Frizzle: pb/]
  • Scientifiction 3 (Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia: Stillwoods, 2008) [coll: edited by Doug Frizzle: pb/]
  • Scientifiction 4 (Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia: Stillwoods, 2008) [coll: edited by Doug Frizzle: pb/]
  • Scientifiction 5 (Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia: Stillwoods, 2008) [coll: edited by Doug Frizzle: pb/]

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