Betancourt, John Gregory

Tagged: Author | Editor

(1963-    ) US editor and author who became involved in Small-Press publishing in his teens, beginning to publish short fiction with "Vernon's Dragon" in 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories (anth 1984) edited by Isaac Asimov, Terry Carr and Martin H Greenberg; an earlier sale was the poem "The Argia" (Summer 1982 Space and Time), with Homer billed as co-author. In the early 1980s he worked with editor George Scithers at Amazing, soon founding a literary agency with Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer; in 1987 the three of them relaunched Weird Tales. In 1989 Betancourt became an editor for Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc, an important sf packager.

His first novel, Starskimmer (1986), a light comedy with numerous sf-author Tuckerisms, was published in TSR's short-lived "Amazing Stories" imprint but has no connection to the television series Amazing Stories; most of his subsequent fiction has been Ties [see Checklist below]. Rogue Pirate (1987) is fantasy, as is the more impressive The Blind Archer (1988), in whose ornate venue – the vast city of Zelloque – the Club Stories assembled in Slab's Tavern and Other Uncanny Places (coll 1990 chap) are also set. His first book of direct sf interest, Johnny Zed (1988), embeds a somewhat desultory political analysis of revolutionary movements in a portrait of a Near-Future USA whose Congress has become a hereditary gift of the rich, and whose populace has become lassitudinous. The Hercules trilogy opening with Hercules: The Wrath of Poseidon (1997), is historical fantasy. The futuristic devices of his second novel of sf interest, Rememory (1990), include brain-scans and the bio-engineering of humans into animal shapes, but the mystery plot that sends the cat-person protagonist down the mean streets of a corrupt government does not, in itself, generate much interest; and Pacifica (2005) with Linda E Bushyager is a Near Future tale set on an Island which draw tourists into a plan to govern the world.

Betancourt continues to seem an author whose skills are greater than his achieved work might lead one to assume – a sense of his writing career which, given his clear intelligence and ambition, could change at will. Given his founding with Kim Betancourt of {WILDSIDE PRESS} in 1989, and his subsequent active management of the firm, he may continue not to concentrate – beyond the production of Ties – on creative work. [JC]

John Gregory Betancourt

born St Louis, Missouri: 25 October 1963

died

works

series

Hercules

individual titles

collections

ties

series

Robert Silverberg's Time Tours

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Roger Zelazny's Dawn of Amber

Roger Zelazny's Shadows of Amber

individual titles

nonfiction (selected)

works as editor (selected)

series

Ultimate

Weird Tales

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links

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