About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Richard T. Gallen

So I popped over to the Baen twitter feed today, and was saddened to see a little tiny tweet:

In memoriam: Richard T. Gallen, one of the original founders of Baen Books.

Which says something, but maybe not enough.

He wasn't just a founder of Baen.

He was some of the money behind Tor Books.  As mentioned in this article in the NY Times from 30+ years ago.

He was some of the money behind Carroll & Graf, which published actively in sf/fantasy/horror/mystery, including things like the Mammoth Book series, or David Pringle's 100 Best SF Novels, which C&G and other publishers used as a road map for bringing a lot of deserving books and authors back into print and to a new generation of readers.

We'd have science fiction and fantasy today without Richard T. Gallen, but it's safe to say it would be different somehow.  His being around or not being around, it's one of those things like "Hitler Wins World War II" or "Lincoln Survives" that alternate history novels are written about.

My first job was in a little aerie on W. 36th St. in Manhattan in a small crowded space where Tor and Baen and Bluejay and perhaps other companies as well were all clustered being fed start-up money by the Richard T. Gallen mother bird.  I believe it might even have been Richard T. Gallen's signature that was on my first paychecks from Baen.  A little later Baen and Richard T. Gallen decamped a few blocks down 5th Avenue to nicer bigger space.

I can't really say I knew the man.  Tom Doherty at Tor would probably be the person from sf/f that could give a good speech at a memorial service.

But essentially, any of who work in sf/fantasy or who read in sf/fantasy -- we know Richard T. Gallen. He's the guy who made the guys who made the books happen.  If we don't do what we do because of him, we do it how we do it because he was willing to make publishing fantasies become real, for people who knew how to take advantage of the opportunities he provided.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Moon said...

That's a bit of history I sure didn't know. Thanks for the information.