Francis G. Rayer

writer (1921-1981)

1921   -   1981

country of citizenship: United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
languages spoken, written or signed: British English
occupation: novelist, science fiction writer

Francis George Rayer T.Eng.(CEI). Assoc.IERE (6 June 1921 – 11 July 1981) was a British science fiction writer and technical journalist. He was born at Longdon, Worcestershire, England, on 6 June 1921. He was the second son of Harry Rayer, a farmer, and Florence Shepherd. Rayer began his science writing after suffering a heart attack at a young age. During the Second World War he and his brother were exempt as farm operators. He had a bout of rheumatic fever and later joined the Home Guard. He admired the writing of Olaf Stapledon, author of influential works of science fiction and was happy to receive positive comment from Stapledon on his novel Tomorrow Sometimes Comes.As a fiction writer, he might be best known for his series Magnus Mensis, which was published in New Worlds science fiction magazine from 1950 to 1961. Rayer was largely associated with the John Carnell era of New Worlds. Rayer sometimes published under the pseudonyms of Chester Delray and George Longdon. When the UK Science Fiction Book Club was formed in 1953, Rayer's book Tomorrow Sometimes Comes was the fourth book issued by the club. His output included romantic novels. From about 1960, the science fiction 'pulp' market was declining. When Michael Moorcock became editor of New Worlds Rayer largely switched to non-fiction writing. His work was largely criticized by New Wave science fiction writers. Rayer's fiction has since mostly fallen out of popularity.As a technical journalist, he specialized in radio and electronics and designed electronic equipment. Rayer wrote many technical articles for the British magazine Practical Wireless after a letter he wrote was published in 1939. He may have used the pennames R.F. Graham and George Longdon in this context, and Roland Worcester. He was published in Short Wave magazine. Some of his books and articles were published in other languages such as French and German. Rayer also wrote for county magazines and daily newspapers in Worcestershire, and Readers Digest. In the 1950s Rayer was able to buy a cottage with the proceeds from his writing, known as The Reddings, at Longdon Heath, Worcestershire which he renovated. He married teacher Tessa Elizabeth Piatt in 1957 and had two children, William and Quintin. He taught himself Esperanto and professional writing skills. Rayer obtained an amateur radio licence (G3OGR) in July 1960 and wrote technical books and numerous articles under the name F.G. Rayer, often providing illustrations and diagrams for these. In the 1960s he became interested in DX work and gathered a large collection of amateur QSL cards. From the mid 1970s he wrote many articles on electronic construction projects. Rayer dealt with many publishers, especially maintaining a long relationship with Bernard Babani Publishing. He died on 11 July 1981 at Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire following complications of diabetes. Some of his books were published after his death.
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