Murray Leinster puzzle

MartG

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I'm currently reading Leinster's 'City on the Moon', the fourth instalment of his 'Joe Kenmore' series, and I'm a little puzzled by something. In the first two novels ( Space Platform and Space Tug ) Joe's fiance is called Sally Holt, but in this one she's suddenly replaced by 'Arlene Gray'. As I've never managed to track down a copy of the third book in the series ( Space Ferry ), I don't know if something happens in that book to explain the change.

Can anyone shed any light on this ?

Cheers
Martin
 

K. Riehl

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Does Space Ferry exist? The Speculative Fiction Database lists only the three books in the series.
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?257

Maybe it was a variant title in a magazine reprint?

Regardless I don't have the answer for the name change. I'll ask around at the specialty SF bookstore where I shop at for any Leinster fans who might have an answer for you.
 

J-Sun

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The SFE doesn't list it either, but I have found several references on the net to a 1952 Shasta book, which would make it the first, rather than third. It does sound like it ought to be a variant title of Space Tug, though. But ISFDB/SFE don't have that, either, obviously. I find it equally disconcerting that both ISFDB/SFE seem to lack something and that several sources include it and don't know which would be worse - them missing something, or a hallucinatory title gaining such seeming solidity.

The two (or three) books were published by Shasta within a year or so and the last was published by a different publisher several years later so my guess would be that the character is probably supposed to be functionally the same, just under a new name. Maybe the new editor just didn't like the original name or Leinster forgot it or something. I doubt there's a great romantic trauma you're missing. :)
 

Vertigo

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Fantastic Fiction lists a 1952 book by Leinster called Space Ferry but it has no cover or any details/synopsis and doesn't list it as as series book, just a stand alone novel. However Space Platform and Space Tug are also listed as stand alone novels. But they are also listed as being published in 1953; after Space Ferry. That said Fantastic Fiction often have wrong publication dates.
 

MartG

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Very odd - as it was written ( according to the sources that list it ) before the other three, I suspect you're right and it either doesn't exist or was an early/magazine title for Space Tug. In which case it's probably just a mistake which renamed the character.:(

Thanks for the input :)
 

J-Sun

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That link leads to a listing of "City on the moon (alternate title: space ferry)" in box 15.

Cool resource. Maybe contact would get more details on when/why it was alternately titled.
 

Steve in NYC

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I spent a day at the Will F. Jenkins (Murray Leinster) Collection at Syracuse and made some progress on these questions:
"Space Ferry" was a 'working title' for at least the third book in the series, which became "City on the Moon". Two radically different plots were considered for this book, one involving using an asteroid with a very eccentric orbit to 'ferry' supplies from the neighborhood of Earth to the neighborhood of Mars. The other plot clearly led to the book as we have it now. An early (not final) typescript describes SALLY HOLT arriving on the Earth to Moon "ferry".
Leinster had a dispute, ultimately involving lawyers, with the original publisher. The correspondence mainly gives Leinster's side, so the objective merits are murky (although I would bet on Leinster). But this certainly explains the delay in the third book and the change of publisher. No correspondence with the second publisher survives. Too bad, as it might shed light on the change from Sally Holt to Arlene Gray.
It is certain that Leinster did not forget that the earlier books gave the character the name "Sally Holt" since she appears under that name in the aforementioned typescript. Nothing in the correspondence with the original publisher indicates any discussion of an original name of Arlene Gray, changed at their request and changed back, eventually, for the third book after the change of publishers. It is a possible theory, but unsupported by any evidence.
I intend, when convenient, to visit the collection again. If anyone has approaches to these matters they would suggest I explore, I will try. And, of course I may stumble on relevant points as I research other questions.
The collection is a great resource. I have previously enjoyed correcting from typescripts misprints and an entire missing line in Leinster's "Operation Outer Space".
 

Steve in NYC

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An additional point: In Leinster's "The Ethical Equations" (Astounding, June 1945) the protagonist is named Freddy Holmes. In the sequel "The Adapter" (Astounding, March 1946) the same character is named Jimmy Holmes. Same magazine, same editor, no long gap of time between the stories---were it not for the use of "Sally Holt" in the manuscript of City on the Moon mentioned above, one could just cite carelessness for these name changes. Research in Syracuse on the two 'Holmes' stories is now on my 'to do' list (AFTER the upstate NY snow season).
 

Bick

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An additional point: In Leinster's "The Ethical Equations" (Astounding, June 1945) the protagonist is named Freddy Holmes. In the sequel "The Adapter" (Astounding, March 1946) the same character is named Jimmy Holmes. Same magazine, same editor, no long gap of time between the stories---were it not for the use of "Sally Holt" in the manuscript of City on the Moon mentioned above, one could just cite carelessness for these name changes. Research in Syracuse on the two 'Holmes' stories is now on my 'to do' list (AFTER the upstate NY snow season).
SF trivia detective work and intrigue - fantastic!
 

Steve in NYC

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I have been to the Will F. Jenkins (Murray Leinster) collection in Syracuse again. The manuscript (typescript) of "The Ethical Equations" gives the protagonist's name as JIMMY Holmes. The change (temporarily) to Freddy (in the published magazine) seems to have been made editorially at Astounding, or just possibly during typesetting. The reason is unknown. As stated previously, the sequel returns to 'Jimmy'.
As regards "City on the Moon", all three manuscripts (typescripts) in the files still use the name 'Sally Holt', including the copy which is marked as 'revision for Ace Books'--which raises the question of what name is used in the hardcover first edition. The first use of 'Arlene Gray' found in the file is in the German (paperback) edition.
 

Steve in NYC

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I have not gotten a copy of the hardcover first edition, but have found on the internet a facsimile printing of the dust jacket for the first edition, and it clearly uses the name 'Arlene Gray'. Summary to date: Leinster remembered and used the name 'Sally Holt' (from the first two books in the series), but somewhere between Leinster's typewriter and the new publisher's first edition of the third novel, the character's name was changed to 'Arlene Gray'. Many details make it plain that this is, in fact, the same character. No reason for the change by the publisher is known.
 
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