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Good News About Fantastic Books 
1st-Jan-2010 12:49 pm
Pennterra cover
Less than three weeks after posting my lament about Warren Lapine and Fantastic Books, I see with pleased surprise that SFScope has just announced Warren's strategy for coping with the overwhelming workload he had taken on.

Mostly, this involves delegating much of the work he was doing himself to other people. "Last month, Douglas Cohen was promoted to Editor of Realms, taking over most of Lapine's responsibilities for the day-to-day operation of the magazine, and now he’s handed over the reins of Fantastic Books to SFScope Editor Ian Randal Strock."

For those of us who once had high hopes for Fantastic Book, this is great news. It means that someone--indeed, a very capable someone--will make the fortunes of this line of reprints his immediate business, starting now. Strock says he intends to see "that every title already contracted for is given the attention it deserves, and is published properly as soon as possible." When the backlog has been dealt with, he'll let us know when he's ready to consider new titles. Read the whole story at http://sfscope.com/2009/12/fantastic-books-hires-sfscope.html.

This does of course leave Pennterra, published six months ago--and to a lesser extent Paul Di Filippo's Fuzzy Dice, released on October 27--in limbo; but I'm counting on Marty Halpern, who acquired both these titles for FB, to insure that they don't stay lost in the crack they fell into before these editorial changes took effect.

Happy New Year! Now we can finally stop clumsily saying "Two thousand and [number]" and start saying "Twenty-ten"!
1st-Jan-2010 10:14 pm (UTC) - That ... sounds like *very* good news!
(As if you didn't know it already!)

I was quite disappointed by your previous post on the subject, as I'm one of those who think POD ought to make quite a lot of sense in today's near-monopoly economic climate.

I'm crossing my fingers this actually works out for you.
1st-Jan-2010 10:37 pm (UTC) - Re: That ... sounds like *very* good news!
Thanks! The problem was never POD, it was a disastrously overextended editor. If Ian can get the balance between SFScope and Fantastic Books figured out, the outlook is a lot brighter now; but, as before, we'll have to wait and see how the pudding proves out. Keep fingers crossed, please!
3rd-Jan-2010 11:11 pm (UTC) - Re: That ... sounds like *very* good news!
The problem was never POD, it was a disastrously overextended editor.

I worded my original reply pretty badly; the above is entirely what I'd meant to say. POD+web ought to make for an excellent (or at least a decent) replacement for the bookstores that no longer stock a variety of long-term, steady-selling mid-list authors (John Wyndham being one of my favourite examples, if only because Penguins actually managed to keep him in print for so long despite everything).
4th-Jan-2010 02:19 pm (UTC) - Re: That ... sounds like *very* good news!
They ought to all right. Eventually, I imagine they will. Be great if Fantastic Books winds up operating that way. No reason why they shouldn't, if/when they get their act together.
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