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Wertenbaker, G Peyton

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1907-1968) US editor and author, one of the pioneers of Hugo Gernsback's development of Scientifiction. Wertenbaker came from a literary and professional family; his brother Charles Wertenbaker (1901-1955) was a renowned journalist and his niece is the noted playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker (1946-    ). His first story, written when he was still fifteen, "The Man from the Atom" (August 1923 Science and Invention) appeared in the special "scientifiction" issue of Gernsback's premier science magazine and concerns an Invention that allows a man to grow so vast and so quickly that he moves beyond into the macrocosm (see Great and Small) and is unable to return to Earth. His further adventures are told in "The Man from the Atom (Sequel)" (May 1926 Amazing), the first new story published in Amazing Stories. The concept of a human alone and forever separated from an unattainable home reappeared in "The Coming of the Ice" (June 1926 Amazing) in which a man is made immortal (see Immortality) and lives on beyond all other humans, an idea that was reworked in "Elaine's Tomb" (Winter 1930 Amazing Stories Quarterly). "The Chamber of Life" (October 1929 Amazing) presaged Virtual Reality and is a remarkably advanced work. Wertenbaker's only other story, "The Ship That Turned Aside" (March 1930 Amazing) tells of a translation into the fourth Dimension.

Wertenbaker wrote no more sf. He turned first to regional novels: Black Cabin (1933) and Rain on the Mountain (1934), both as Green Peyton (his given names), which became his byline of preference. He served on the editorial board of Fortune magazine from 1933 to 1938, and became a contributing editor to Time Magazine in 1939. During World War Two he served as an air combat intelligence officer in the Pacific aboard the USS Suwanee and his experiences formed the basis for 5,000 Miles Toward Tokyo (1945). In 1950 he became involved with the fledgling Aerospace industry, returning to some degree to his first love. He assisted Dr Hubertus Strughold with The Green and Red Planet (1953), a physiological study of the possibility of life on Mars and wrote the scripts for a series of thirteen half-hour TV films on the human problems of space flight, Doctors in Space (1958). In 1958 he joined NASA as a speechwriter, eventually becoming chief historian of the Aerospace Medical Division; just before his death he completed Fifty Years of Aerospace Medicine (1968). [MA]

Green Peyton Wertenbaker

born New Castle, Delaware: 23 December 1907

died San Antonio, Texas: 26 July 1968


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