Out-of-world, Ackerly Green is a hybrid publishing and interactive media company owned and operated by author CJ Bernstein.
Ackerly Green was founded by Warner Green and Meredith Grey Ackerly in the fall of 1954. Grey, listless and grim, decided to open his own publishing company to pursue a venture that would take him out of the shadow of his father’s accomplishments. Together with his close lifelong friend, Warner Green, he built the company from nothing. Grey and Warner were set to be equal partners, with Warner focusing his talents towards the creative aspects of the company, and Grey being the business head. Warner hired the young illustrator Sylvia Sullivan to create the logo for the company: Herman the Hippocampus.
Grey and Warner had differing opinions on what to publish. Grey preferred darker stories, serious literature that would comment on social issues. Meanwhile, Warner wanted to publish more fantastical pieces, something that would take people away from the horrors of the War. Ultimately, Grey won out, leading to publications like Through the Night and The Wolf and the Wild.
Despite Grey and Warner’s best efforts, the company struggled to get a foothold in the market. Their refusal to print paperbacks or to sacrifice quality only magnified their struggle. Instead, they funneled their budget into a few talented authors, publishing a handful of books a year, hoping they could stay afloat until one of the books hit big. Grey was unwilling to ask for help from his moneyed peers, thus furthering the struggles of the company.
Realizing the company was sinking, Warner distanced himself to take care of his wife and child. In secret, Warner made a deal to go back to A&L Printing, abandoning Grey and ending their friendship. Grey continued on, penniless and struggling with alcoholism. In 1961, the same year that he married his wife, Annaleigh Price, Ackerly Green closed its doors. The company remained inactive in the years to come, selling off the rights to its books.
After the death of Sullivan Green, Deirdre Green inherited her father’s documents, including the paperwork for Ackerly Green. During this time, other than a few copies of Ackerly Green’s Guide to MAGIQ, both of which were later destroyed, there were no known surviving copies of books published by Ackerly Green during its initial period of activity.
During her time in New York City, Deirdre worked with Orvin Wallace to sort through the documents, learning more about her father and his family’s history with the company. Becoming more and more interested in Ackerly Green, she announced her decision to reopen Ackerly Green in a blog post titled “That Big News!” after finding an espresso book machine during a shopping trip in SoHo. The machine, which allowed for the easy printing of books, inspired her to try her own hand in the business. Thus, she made the decision to track down all of the old Ackerly Green books and bring them back into circulation, as well as publish new talent. In the post “What to Do,” Deirdre officially founded the company, with the help of Orvin.
After Deirdre realized the truth about magiq in Fragment Eight, she started to travel the world using instructions found in The Monarch Papers to find more of her father’s secrets. Having begun a journey into “The Monarch Papers,” her work on reopening Ackerly Green seemed to have been temporarily halted.
With the release of the new Ackerly Green website, a final post from Deirdre was released, dubbed “The Lost Post of Deirdre Green.” In the post, which was written right before Deirdre joined the forums, Deirdre described her struggles getting Ackerly Green Publishing on social media. She realized that both the Twitter handle and Instagram account were already registered under the name AckerlyGreen. By emailing Instagram, she was able to get the address of the person who registered the account. The man was CJ Bernstein, revealed to be Saberlane, the man whose children had found the MAGIQ Guide and who had asked to be left alone for the sake of his family. CJ admitted that he found himself strangely drawn to the company and that he was using the accounts to try to find other people who might remember the company. Deirdre and CJ began a friendship over emails and CJ helped Deirdre learn how to resurrect the publishing company.
As Deirdre’s interest in running a publishing company waned, she decided to leave it in the hands of CJ. As the steward of Ackerly Green, he worked with Martin Rank to publish The Monarch Papers in the form of a two-book adaptation, narrated by Martin.