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Betancourt, John Gregory

Entry updated 10 July 2023. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(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




individual titles




Robert Silverberg's Time Tours

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: other

Roger Zelazny's Dawn of Amber

Roger Zelazny's Shadows of Amber

individual titles

nonfiction (selected)

works as editor (selected)



Weird Tales


For the full series, see the entry for either co-editor.

individual titles as editor


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