Ballantine Books

Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine.[1] It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a pair of mirrored letter Bs back to back.[2] The firm's early editors were Stanley Kauffmann and Bernard Shir-Cliff.[3]

Ballantine Books
Ballantine Books
Parent companyRandom House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House
Founded1952
FounderIan Ballantine
Betty Ballantine
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City, New York
Official websitewww.randomhousebooks.com

History

Following Fawcett Publications' controversial 1950 introduction of Gold Medal paperback originals rather than reprints, Lion Books, Avon and Ace also decided to publish originals. In 1952, Ian Ballantine, a founder of Bantam Books, announced that he would "offer trade publishers a plan for simultaneous publishing of original titles in two editions, a hardcover 'regular' edition for bookstore sale, and a paper-cover, 'newsstand' size, low-priced edition for mass market sale."[4]

When the first Ballantine Book, Cameron Hawley's Executive Suite was published in 1952, the publishing industry saw that the simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions were obvious successes.[4] Houghton Mifflin published the $3.00 hardcover at the same time Ballantine distributed its 35¢ paperback. By February 1953, Ballantine had sold 375,000 copies and was preparing to print 100,000 more. Houghton Mifflin sold 22,000 hardback copies in its first printing. Ballantine's sales soon totaled 470,000 copies. Instead of hurting hardback sales as some predicted, the paperback edition instead gave the book more publicity. After the film rights were sold to MGM, Robert Wise directed the 1954 film, nominated for four Academy Awards.[5]

On the heels of that kind of sales and publicity, other Ballantine titles were seen in spinner racks across the country. Executive Suite was followed by Hal Ellson's The Golden Spike (#2), Stanley Baron's All My Enemies (#3), Luke Short's Saddle by Starlight (#4, also with Houghton Mifflin), Ruth Park's The Witch's Thorn (#5, also with Houghton Mifflin), Emile Danoen's Tides of Tide (#6), Frank Bonham's Blood on the Land (#7), Al Capp's The World of Li'l Abner (#8, with Farrar, Straus & Young) and LaSelle Gilman's The Red Gate (#9).

Science fiction and fantasy books

During the early 1950s, Ballantine attracted attention as one of the leading publishers of paperback science fiction and fantasy, beginning with The Space Merchants (#21). The Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth novel had first appeared in Galaxy Science Fiction under the title Gravy Planet. Kauffman scored when he acquired and edited Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (originally in Galaxy as a shorter version, "The Firemen").[3]

Ballantine's science fiction line also included the unusual Star Science Fiction Stories. With cover paintings by Richard Powers, this innovative anthology series offered new fiction rather than reprints. Edited by Frederik Pohl, it attracted readers by successfully combining the formats of both magazines and paperbacks.

In the early 1960s, the company engaged in a well-known rivalry with Ace Books for the rights to reprint the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and Edgar Rice Burroughs in paperback form. Ballantine prevailed in the struggle for the Tolkien work, with their editions of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings including a message on the back cover from Tolkien himself urging consumers to buy Ballantine's version and boycott "unauthorized editions" (i.e. the version from Ace Books). A separate Canadian edition of the books was published with different front cover art work. Tolkien asked for (and received) permission to add the back cover message. Betty Ballantine recalled: "And we did put a little statement on the back covers saying that Ace was not paying royalties to Professor Tolkien, and everybody who admired Lord of the Rings should only buy our paperback edition. Well, everybody got behind us. There was literally no publication that did not carry some kind of outraged article. And of course, the whole science fiction fraternity got behind the book; this was their meat and drink."[3]

In 1969, Lin Carter edited the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which brought a number of rare titles back into print, as well as launching Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series. During the mid-1970s, Ballantine published the Star Trek Logs, a ten-volume series of Alan Dean Foster adaptations of the animated Star Trek. In 1968, Ballantine published a non-fiction book related to Star Trek, The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry.

In 1976, Ballantine published the novelization of a forthcoming science fiction film, Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by George Lucas (ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster). The book, like the film Star Wars released the following year, was an enormous success and sold out its initial print run. In the first three months, Ballantine sold 3.5 million copies.[6][7]

Cartoons, comics and humor books

Grabsocks56
Grab Your Socks!

After publishing The World of Li'l Abner, Ballantine introduced Shel Silverstein in 1956 with his Grab Your Socks! collection of cartoons from Pacific Stars and Stripes. Ballantine also published several collections of Jim Davis' comic strip Garfield.

As an editor at Ballantine during the 1950s and 1960s, Bernard Shir-Cliff handled the Zacherley anthologies, the paperback of Hunter Thompson's Hell's Angels, Harvey Kurtzman's The Mad Reader and other early Mad paperbacks. He made four contributions to Mad and other magazines edited by Kurtzman. In 1956, Shir-Cliff edited a humor anthology, The Wild Reader, for Ballantine, including essays, poems and satirical pieces by Robert Benchley, Art Buchwald, Tom Lehrer, John Lardner, Shepherd Mead, Ogden Nash, S. J. Perelman, Frank Sullivan, James Thurber and others. The 154-page paperback was illustrated with cartoons by Kelly Freas who also did the front cover.

Another contributor to both Ballantine and the Kurtzman magazines was the cartoonist-author Roger Price. He did two humor books for Ballantine. I'm for Me First (1954) details Herman Clabbercutt's plan to launch a revolutionary political party known as the "I'm for Me First" Party. In One Head and Out the Other (1954) popularized the catchphrase "I had one grunch, but the eggplant over there." The nonsense non sequitur was immediately adopted by science fiction fandom, appearing occasionally in fanzines, as noted in Fancyclopedia II (1959).[8]

Ballantine authors

References

  1. ^ "Imprints - Random House Books". www.randomhousebooks.com. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  2. ^ "Random House Books". www.randomhousebooks.com. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  3. ^ a b c Silverman, Al. ''The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Book Publishers, Their Editors and Authors''. Truman Talley, 2008. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  4. ^ a b "Crider, Bill. "Paperback Originals," ''Paperback Forum'' #1". Miskatonic.org. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  5. ^ Crowther, Bosley (1954-05-07). "Two New Films Arrive; 'Executive Suite' Has Debut at Music Hall Israel Sends 5 Tales of New Country". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  6. ^ Burns, Kevin (director) (2004). Empire of Dreams (DVD). USA: Lucasfilm.
  7. ^ Sutherland, John; Sutherland, Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature John (2010). "8. Star Wars - a real gee-whizz book". Bestsellers (Routledge Revivals): Popular Fiction of the 1970s. Routledge. ISBN 9781136830631. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  8. ^ Eney, Dick. Fancyclopedia II. Bladensburg, Maryland: Operation Crifanac, 1959.

Further reading

External links

Alpha 3 (Robert Silverberg anthology)

Alpha 3 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Robert Silverberg. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in October 1972.The book collects ten novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction by the editor.

Ballantine Adult Fantasy series

The Ballantine Adult Fantasy series was an imprint of American publisher Ballantine Books. Launched in 1969 (presumably in response to the growing popularity of Tolkien's works), the series reissued a number of works of fantasy literature which were out of print or dispersed in back issues of pulp magazines (or otherwise not easily available in the United States), in cheap paperback form—including works by authors such as James Branch Cabell, Lord Dunsany, Ernest Bramah, Hope Mirrlees, and William Morris. The series lasted until 1974.

Envisioned by the husband-and-wife team of Ian and Betty Ballantine, and edited by Lin Carter, it featured cover art by illustrators such as Gervasio Gallardo, Robert LoGrippo, David McCall Johnston, and Bob Pepper. The agreement signed between the Ballantines and Carter on November 22, 1968 launched the project. In addition to the reprints comprising the bulk of the series, some new fantasy works were published as well as a number of original collections and anthologies put together by Carter, and Imaginary Worlds, his general history of the modern fantasy genre.The series was never considered a money-maker for Ballantine, although the re-issue of several of its titles both before and after the series' demise shows that a number of individual works were considered successful. The Ballantines supported the series as long as they remained the publishers of Ballantine Books, but with their sale of the company to Random House in 1973 support from the top was no longer forthcoming, and in 1974, with the end of the Ballantines' involvement in the company they had founded, the series was terminated.After the termination of the Adult Fantasy series, Ballantine continued to publish fantasy but concentrated primarily on new titles, with the older works it continued to issue being those with proven track records. In 1977, both its fantasy and science fiction lines were relaunched under the Del Rey Books imprint, under the editorship of Lester and Judy-Lynn del Rey. Carter continued his promotion of the fantasy genre in a new line of annual anthologies from DAW Books, The Year's Best Fantasy Stories, also beginning in 1975. Meanwhile, the series' lapsed mission of restoring classic works of fantasy to print had been taken up on a more limited basis by the Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library, launched in 1973.

Conan the Barbarian (2011 collection)

Conan the Barbarian is a collection of six fantasy short stories written by Robert E. Howard featuring his seminal sword and sorcery hero of the same name, first published in paperback by Del Rey/Ballantine Books in July 2011 as a tie-in with the movie of the same title. The stories originally appeared in the 1930s in the fantasy magazine Weird Tales. An earlier collection with the same title but different contents was issued in hardcover by Gnome Press in 1955.Contents:

"The Phoenix on the Sword"

"The People of the Black Circle"

"The Tower of the Elephant"

"Queen of the Black Coast"

"Red Nails"

"Rogues in the House"

Diet for a Small Planet

Diet for a Small Planet is a 1971 bestselling book by Frances Moore Lappé, the first major book to note the environmental impact of meat production as wasteful and a contributor to global food scarcity. She argued for environmental vegetarianism — practicing a vegetarian lifestyle out of concerns over animal-based industries and the production of animal-based products.

The book has sold over three million copies and was groundbreaking for arguing that world hunger is not caused by a lack of food but by ineffective food policy. In addition to information on meat production and its impact on hunger, the book features simple rules for a healthy diet and hundreds of meat-free recipes. "Its mix of recipes and analysis typified radicals' faith in the ability to combine personal therapy with political activism."

Discoveries in Fantasy

Discoveries in Fantasy is an anthology of fantasy short stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in March 1972 as the forty-third volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. It was the seventh such anthology assembled by Carter for the series.

The book collects seven tales by four neglected fantasy authors, Ernest Bramah, Donald Corley, Richard Garnett and Eden Phillpotts, with an overall introduction and notes by Carter. The cover illustrates a scene from one of the tales, Donald Corley's "The Bird with the Golden Beak".

Double Phoenix

Double Phoenix is an anthology of two short fantasy novels by Edmund Cooper and Roger Lancelyn Green, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in November 1971 as the thirty-seventh volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. It was the sixth anthology assembled by Carter for the series.

The book collects two fantasy novellas, together with three introductory essays on the works, their authors and the book itself by Carter.

Dragons, Elves, and Heroes

Dragons, Elves, and Heroes is an American anthology of fantasy short stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in October 1969 as the sixth volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. It was the first such anthology assembled by Carter for the series, issued simultaneously with the second, The Young Magicians.The book collects nineteen early fantasy tales and poems by various authors, with an overall introduction and notes by Carter. Many of the pieces are medieval in date, and none later than the 19th century. The anthology is a companion volume to Carter's subsequent Golden Cities, Far (1970), which also collects early fantasies.

ESPN Books

ESPN Books is a publishing company operated by ESPN Started in 2004, ESPN Books has published almost 20 books. ESPN Books also is in charge of producing ESPN's yearly sports encyclopedia. It also controls its own book club and in addition it ranks the top selling sports books in ESPN Borders. Since 2008, it has co-published its books with Ballantine Books.

Authors that have written books for ESPN Books include, Bill Simmons, Peter Keating and Ralph Wiley.

Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy I

Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy I is an anthology of fantasy novellas, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fifty-second volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in September, 1972. It was the eighth such anthology assembled by Carter for the series.The book collects four novellas by five fantasy authors, with an overall introduction and notes by Carter. It is a companion volume to Carter's subsequent collection Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy Volume II (1973).

Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy Volume II

Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy Volume II is an anthology of fantasy novellas, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fifty-sixth volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in March, 1973. It was the ninth such anthology assembled by Carter for the series.

The book collects four novellas by as many fantasy authors, with an overall introduction and notes by Carter. It is a companion volume to Carter's earlier Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy I (1972).

New Worlds for Old

New Worlds for Old is an anthology of fantasy short stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in September 1971 as the thirty-fifth volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. It was the fourth such anthology assembled by Carter for the series.The book collects fifteen fantasy tales and poems by various authors, with an overall introduction and individual introductions to each piece by Carter. The pieces range in date from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. The collection is a companion volume to Carter's earlier The Young Magicians (1969), which also collects modern fantasies.

The Complete Guide to Middle-earth

The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: from The Hobbit to The Silmarillion is a reference book for the fictional universe of J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, compiled and edited by Robert Foster.

The Complete Guide to Middle-earth is a major expansion of Foster's A Guide to Middle-earth, which was published in a limited edition by Mirage Press in 1971. Almost twice the length of the original (573 pages vs. 292 pages), the 1978 version incorporates extensive entries related to The Silmarillion (1977). A further revised edition (ISBN 0-345-44976-2) was published in 2001 in time for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

The Complete Guide to Middle-earth is generally recognised as an excellent reference book on Middle-earth. Christopher Tolkien has commended it himself as an "admirable work of reference". However, as it does not include information on post-Silmarillion material (i.e. Unfinished Tales and the series The History of Middle-earth), the 1978 edition contains some assertions contradicted by later publications. For example, the Star of Elendil jewel (Elendilmir) is identified with the Star of the Dúnedain given to Samwise Gamgee, but Christopher Tolkien refutes this. It also includes speculation on matters later confirmed in subsequent works. For example, Foster proposes Gandalf and Olórin are one and the same - confirmed in Unfinished Tales.

A German edition, Das Große Mittelerde-Lexikon, revised and translated by Helmut W. Pesch, was published in 2002.

The Masks of Time

The Masks of Time is a science fiction novel by American author Robert Silverberg, first published in 1968. It was a nominee for the Nebula Award in 1968.It was published in the United Kingdom under the title Vornan-19.

The October Country

The October Country is a 1955 collection of nineteen macabre short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury. It reprints fifteen of the twenty-seven stories of his 1947 collection Dark Carnival, and adds four more of his stories previously published elsewhere.

The collection was published in numerous editions by Ballantine Books. The 1955 hardcover and 1956 and 1962 softcover versions featured artwork by Joseph Mugnaini that was replaced in 1971 by an entirely different Bob Pepper illustration. It was again published in 1996, by Del Rey Books, a branch of Ballantine Books; the illustrations within were drawn by Mugnaini. In this edition there was a foreword written by Bradbury himself, called "May I Die Before My Voice" in Los Angeles, California, on April 24, 1996.

The October Country was published in the United Kingdom by Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd. in 1956, and reissued in 1976 by Grafton, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The 1976 UK paperback edition includes "The Traveler", originally from the aforementioned Dark Carnival, and omits "The Next In Line", "The Lake", "The Small Assassin", "The Crowd", "Jack-In-The-Box", "The Man Upstairs" and "The Cistern".In 1999, The October Country was published by Avon Books, Inc. with a new cover illustration by Joseph Mugnaini, and a new introduction by Bradbury called “Homesteading the October Country”.

The Spawn of Cthulhu

The Spawn of Cthulhu is an anthology of fantasy short stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in October 1971 as the thirty-sixth volume of its Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. It was the fifth anthology assembled by Carter for the series.The book collects twelve fantasy tales and poems by various authors that either influenced or were influenced by the Cthulhu Mythos stories of H. P. Lovecraft, including one story by Lovecraft himself, with an overall introduction and notes by Carter.

The Tolkien Reader

The Tolkien Reader is an anthology of works by J. R. R. Tolkien. It includes a variety of short stories, poems, a play and some non-fiction by Tolkien. It compiles material previously published as three separate shorter books (Tree and Leaf, Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil) together with one additional piece and introductory material. It was published in 1966 by Ballantine Books in the USA.

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