John Gregory Betancourt

John Gregory Betancourt (born October 25, 1963) is an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and mystery novels, as well as short stories. He is also known as the founder and publisher, with his wife Kim Betancourt, of Wildside Press in 1989. Nearly a decade later, they entered the print on demand (PoD) market and greatly expanded their production. In addition to publishing new novels and short stories, they have undertaken projects to publish new editions of collections of stories that appeared in historic magazines.

Prior to establishing the new business, Betancourt worked as an assistant editor at Amazing Stories and editor of Horror: The Newsmagazine of the Horror Field, the revived Weird Tales magazine, the first issue of H. P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror (which he subsequently hired Marvin Kaye to edit), Cat Tales magazine (which he subsequently hired George H. Scithers to edit), and Adventure Tales magazine. He worked as a Senior Editor for Byron Preiss Visual Publications (1989–1996) and iBooks.

Betancourt wrote four Star Trek novels and the new Chronicles of Amber prequel series, as well as a dozen original novels. His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in such diverse publications as Writer's Digest, The Washington Post, and Amazing Stories.

John Gregory Betancourt
BornOctober 25, 1963 (age 55)[1]
St. Louis, Missouri, US[1]
OccupationWriter, publisher
EducationTemple University, Philadelphia
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, mystery novels
SpouseKim Betancourt
ChildrenDavid Betancourt Ian Betancourt

Early life

Betancourt's father is Felipe Pablo "Philip" Betancourt, an archeologist.[1] His brother Michael Betancourt became a critical theorist.

When he was a child, the Betancourt family spent summers in Greece,[1] especially Crete, where his father worked on the excavation at Kommos in the 1970s, and Pseira in the 1980s. There the younger Betancourt developed a love for reading and discovered such diverse writers as Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Moorcock, and Jack Vance through books imported from the United Kingdom. He said of this time, "When I ran out of stories, I made up my own to keep myself entertained. I can trace the impulse to become a writer to age fourteen, when I spent most of a summer writing sequels to classics like Treasure Island."[1]

Betancourt's first published work was a poem, "The Argia," in Space & Time magazine at age 15. At age 16, he made his first professional sale, "Vernon's Dragon," to the anthology 100 Great Fantasy Short-Short Stories, edited by Isaac Asimov, John F. Carr, and Martin H. Greenberg. He began The Blind Archer, at age 17, finished it at age 18, and sold it to Avon Books as his debut novel at age 19. He graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts.[1]


Betancourt has alternated between writing and editing throughout his career. He worked for Amazing Stories as an assistant editor from 1985 to 1987.[1] When the Philadelphia office shut down, he co-founded a literary agency with George Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer. A year later, Betancourt, Scithers, and Schweitzer licensed the name Weird Tales from Weird Tales, Ltd. and revived the magazine. Betancourt worked as an editor there until 1990.[1]

Betancourt married Kim Betancourt (née Hermo) in 1990,[1] and they moved from Philadelphia to Newark, New Jersey. He founded Wildside Press in 1989[1] to publish a collection of essays by Fritz Leiber designed to commemorate Leiber's appearance as Principal Speaker at Philcon that year.[2] The book, Fafhrd & Me sold out quickly, and Betancourt decided to publish additional titles as a hobby.

Betancourt was named science fiction editor for Byron Preiss Visual Publications in 1990.[1] He worked for Byron Preiss for 7 years, rising to Senior Editor, before leaving to write full-time and take care of his and Kim Betancourt's first child. This marked the beginning of his most prolific period as an author.

Betancourt also continued to publish books through Wildside Press during this period, using local short-run printers and Pulphouse Publishing to print new titles. Some of the limited editions, particularly titles by Mike Resnick, are impressive efforts. The limited editions of Resnick's Lucifer Jones series are bound in such exotic materials as Spanish cork, French leopard-patterned cloth, and leather. The limited editions he published of Bradley Denton's two short story collections are bound in Spanish snakeskin-patterned cloth and elephant-hide paper. The lettered editions have mahogany slipcases. The Denton collections won a World Fantasy Award for Best Collection of the Year.

In Autumn 2005, the husband-and-wife team of DNA Publications sold Weird Tales to Betancourt.[3] Betancourt has continued to publish Weird Tales through Wildside Press.[4] In 2006 he hired Stephen H. Segal as Editorial Director of the magazine; Segal subsequently recruited Ann VanderMeer as Fiction Editor. In 2009, Segal and VanderMeer won a Hugo Award for Weird Tales in the category of Best Semiprozine.[5] The magazine was also nominated for a 2009 World Fantasy Award.[6]

Print on demand

In 1998, Betancourt discovered print on demand technology, which produces one book at a time. He became a pioneer in the field, bringing hundreds (eventually thousands) of books into print through PoD. Betancourt incorporated Wildside Press in 2004 and continued to expand the company, as gross annual sales continued to grow. As of January 2010, Wildside Press had more than 11,000 books in print, ranging from classic literature to genre titles by H. Beam Piper, John W. Campbell, Jr., Andre Norton, and others.

Wildside Press took up an increasing amount of his time, though Betancourt still managed to produce one novel and several short stories most years. He brought in genre writers and editors to work on Wildside Press projects. Employees in the 2000–07 period included such authors and editors as P.D. Cacek, Darrell Schweitzer, George H. Scithers, Vera Nazarian, Stephen H. Segal, and Sean Wallace.

In 2006, Betancourt partnered with AudioRealms to release new and classic science fiction, fantasy, and horror in Audiobook format. Initial releases included H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy and Andre Norton's The Time Traders, as well as works by Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft.

At the same time, Betancourt created a new mass-market paperback line, Cosmos Books, with Dorchester Publishing.

In 2007, Betancourt received the Black Orchid Novella Award from the Nero Wolfe Society (the "Wolfe Pack") and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine for his novella "Horse Pit." The award, which consisted of a certificate, a prize of $1,000, and publication in the magazine, was presented at the Wolfe Pack's annual Black Orchid Banquet on December 1, 2007.

John Gregory Betancourt lives in Maryland with his wife Kim and two sons.



  • 1987 Starskimmer
  • 1987 Rogue Pirate
  • 1988 Johnny Zed
  • 1988 The Blind Archer
  • 1990 Rememory
  • 1995 Devil in the Sky (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) with Greg Cox
  • 1995 Incident at Arbuk (Star Trek: Voyager)
  • 1995 Born of Elven Blood with Kevin J. Anderson
  • 1995 Cutthroat Island
  • 1996 Birthright: The Hag's Contract[7]
  • 1996 The Heart of the Warrior (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
  • 1997 Hercules: The Wrath of Poseidon
  • 1997 Hercules: The Vengeance of Hera
  • 1999 Infection (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • 2001 Hercules: The Gates of Hades
  • 2002 Pacifica with Linda E. Bushyager
  • 2003 The Dawn of Amber (#1 in the Amber prequel series)
  • 2003 The Dragon Sorcerer
  • 2004 Chaos and Amber (#2 in the Amber prequel series)
  • 2004 To Rule in Amber (#3 in the Amber prequel series)
  • 2005 Shadows of Amber (#4 in the Amber prequel series)
  • unpublished/unwritten Sword of Chaos (#5 in the Amber prequel series)

Short story collections

  • 1991 Slab's Tavern and Other Uncanny Places
  • 1992 Performance Art
  • 2005 Playing in Wonderland
  • 2012 Pit and the Pendulum: The Adventures of Peter Pit-Bull Geller

Young adult series

  • Dr. Bones
    • 1989 #4 The Dragons of Komako
  • Robert Silverberg's Time Tours
    • 1991 #4 The Dinosaur Trackers as Thomas Shadwell with Arthur Byron Cover and Timothy Robert Sullivan
    • 1991 #6 Caesar's Time Legions as Jeremy Kingston
  • The New Adventures of Superman

Magazines edited


  • 1991 The Ultimate Dracula with Byron Preiss (uncredited)
  • 1991 The Ultimate Frankenstein with Byron Preiss
  • 1991 The Ultimate Werewolf with Byron Preiss
  • 1993 Swashbuckling Editor Stories
  • 1993 The Ultimate Witch with Byron Preiss
  • 1993 The Ultimate Zombie with Byron Preiss
  • 1995 The Ultimate Alien with Byron Preiss
  • 1995 Best of Weird Tales (Barnes & Noble, 498 pages)
  • 1997 Best of Weird Tales: 1923 (Borgo Press, 132 pages)
  • 1996 New Masterpieces of Horror
  • 1997 Weird Tales: Seven Decades of Terror
  • 2005 Horrorscape: New Masterpieces of Horror, vol. 1
  • 2006 Horror: The Best of the Year, 2006 Edition with Sean Wallace


  • 1996 Serve It Forth - Cooking with Anne McCaffrey with Anne McCaffrey
  • 1996 The Sci-Fi Channel Trivia Book
  • 1998 The Sci-Fi Channel Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction with Roger Fulton


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Betancourt, John (Gregory) 1963-". Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2006. Retrieved October 10, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  2. ^ Levy, Michael (April 1, 2002). "PW talks with John Gregory Betancourt". Publishers Weekly. 249 (13): 58.
  3. ^ Carlson, Peter (14 March 2006). "Plato's Cream Pie and Other Horror Delicacies". Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Newsnotes: Authors & editors". Science Fiction Chronicle. 24 (8): 10. August 2002.
  5. ^ "The Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. ^ "2009 World Fantasy Award Nominees". Archived from the original on 2012-10-27.
  7. ^ Brown, Charles N.; Contento, William G. (January 2, 2010). "Site Directory". The Locus Index to Science Fiction. Lotus Publications. Retrieved 2010-01-25. Note: confirm individual authors by a search from the Lotus home page.

External links

Adventure Tales

Adventure Tales is an irregularly published magazine reprinting classic stories from pulp magazines of the early 20th century. It is edited by science fiction writer John Gregory Betancourt and published by Wildside Press. In 2011 it was published biannually. Each issue has a theme or a featured author related to pulp magazines. Its headquarters is in Rockville, Maryland.

Issue #1 (2006) featured prolific pulp writer Hugh B. Cave.

Contents: "Skulls," by H. Bedford Jones; "Under the Flame Trees," by H. de Vere Stacpoole; "Rats Ashore," by Charles C. Young; "The Evil Eye," by Vincent Starrett; "Watson!" by Captain A. E. Dingle; "Island Feud," by Hugh B. Cave; "The Man Who Couldn't Die," by Hugh B. Cave;

Issue #2 (2006) featured pulp writer Nelson Bond.

Includes work by Dorothy Quick, Achmed Abdullah, John D. Swain, Christopher B. Booth, Harold Lamb, Nelson Bond, and Arthur O. Friel.

Issue #3 (2006) featured pulp writer Murray Leinster.

Other contents includes: "Land Sharks and Others," by H. Bedford-Jones; "Light on a Subject," by Raymond S. Spears; "Channa's Tabu," by Harold Lamb; "Forbidden Fruit," by John D. Swain; "Kill That Headline," by Robert Leslie Bellem; "The Floating Island," by Philip M. Fisher; Africa," by George Allan England. A special book-paper edition included extra content: "Nerve" and "The Street of Magnificent Dreams," by Murray Leinster; "The Moon-Calves," by Raymond S. Spears; and "Pirates' Gold," by H. Bedford-Jones.

Issue #4 (2007) featured pulp writers associated with Weird Tales magazine.

Contents: "The Monkey God," by Seabury Quinn; "Double-Shuffle," by Edwin Baird; "Every Man a King," by E. Hoffmann Price; "Blind Man's Bluff," by Edwin Baird; "The Mad Detective," by John D. Swain; "Son of the White wolf," by Robert E. Howard; "Adventure," by Clark Ashton Smith (verse); "Astrophobos," by H.P. Lovecraft (verse); "Always Comes Evening," by Robert E. Howard (verse)

Issue #5 (2008) featured pulp writer Achmed Abdullah.

Contents: "Their Own Dear Land," by Achmed Abdullah; "The Pearls of Paruki," by J. Allan Dunn; "The Midmatch Tragedy," by Vincent Starrett; "The Remittance Woman," by Achmed Abdullah.

Issue #6 (2010) featured pulp writer H. Bedford-Jones.

Contents: "The Fugitive Statue," by Vincent Starrett; "Miracle," by John D. Swain; "Mustered Out," by H. Beford-Jones; "The Devil's Heirloom," by Anthony M. Rud; "The Tapir," by Arthur O. Friel; "Thubway Tham's Dog," by Johnston McCulley; "The Badman's Brand," by H. Bedford-Jones; "Lancelot Biggs Cooks a Pirate," by Nelson S. Bond; "Surprise in Sulphur Springs," by Bedford-Jones; "Payable to Bearer," by Talbot Mundy; plus a facsimile reprint of the first issue of AMRA, the fantasy fanzine.

Another Round at the Spaceport Bar

Another Round at the Spaceport Bar is an anthology of science fiction club tales edited by George H. Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer. It was first published in paperback by Avon Books in April 1989. The first British edition was issued in paperback by New English Library in January 1992.

Black Orchid Novella Award

The Black Orchid Novella Award is a literary award for excellence in the mystery genre presented by The Wolfe Pack, the official Nero Wolfe Society which was founded in 1978 to explore and celebrate the stories of Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout.

The award is presented annually at the Wolfe Pack's Annual Black Orchid Banquet, traditionally held on the first Saturday in December in New York City. The award was announced in 2006 and was actually given out for the first time in 2007.To qualify:

Each entry must be an original unpublished work of fiction that conforms to the tradition of the Nero Wolfe series

Entries must be 15,000 to 20,000 words in length

Borgo Press

The Borgo Press was a small publishing company founded by Robert Reginald (Prof. Michael Burgess) in 1975 funded by the royalties gained from his first major reference work, Stella Nova: the contemporary science fiction authors (1970).That same year Reginald met Mary Wickizer Rogers, a student at Cal State. They married the following year and together formed the backbone of the publishing company into the 1990s.Borgo Press specialized in literature and history, reflecting the interests of its owners. It published 300 titles from 1976 to 1998.

In 2003 it started up again as an imprint of Wildside Press(Rockville, Maryland; John Gregory Betancourt, publisher), where Reginald has managed the imprint since 2006.

Bruce Coville's Book of Monsters

Bruce Coville's Book of Monsters is the first in a series of "Book of" anthologies edited by Bruce Coville. It was first published in September 1993 by Scholastic Publishing. It is collection of stories aimed at juvenile readers that advertises itself as "scary", but in fact contains a wide variety of stories and genres such as science fiction, horror, fantasy, and realistic with some supernatural elements. In this aspect the "Book of" anthologies differ from many other scary anthologies for juvenile readers which often lean towards straight horror.

Dworkin Barimen

Dworkin Barimen is a fictional character in The Chronicles of Amber, a fantasy series consisting of ten books and several short stories written by Roger Zelazny. Dworkin was also featured as a major character in a prequel series of four books written by John Gregory Betancourt.

Keith Taylor (author)

Keith John Taylor (born 26 December 1946) is an Australian science fiction and fantasy writer.

Kim Betancourt

Kim Betancourt co-founded Wildside Press in 1989 with her husband, science fiction writer John Gregory Betancourt.She has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award two times for their publishing company's efforts to revive Weird Tales Magazine, as well as to produce new editions of classic science fiction and speculative fiction.

In addition to her work at Wildside Press, Betancourt also serves as Director of Economics and Multifamily Market Research at Fannie Mae in Washington, D.C.

Martha Soukup

Martha Soukup (born 20 July 1959 in Aurora, Illinois) is a science fiction author and playwright for the Monday Night PlayGround emerging playwrights group. In 2003, she won their annual June Anne Baker Prize commission.

The 1994 short film Override, directed by Danny Glover, was based on her short story "Over the Long Haul".

Michael Betancourt

Michael Betancourt (born 1971) is a critical theorist, film theorist, art and film historian, and animator. His principal published works focus on the critique of digital capitalism, motion graphics, visual music, new media art and theory, and formalist study of motion pictures.

Betancourt's father is archaeologist Philip P. Betancourt, and his brother is author John Gregory Betancourt. He spent his summers in Crete, Greece, working as a photographer on his father's excavation at Pseira. His first film exhibition was Archaeomodern, shown in the Ann Arbor Festival of Experimental Film in 1993. In 1995, his film a self-referential film in 30 sentences won a Director's Citation award at the Black Maria Film Festival. Other works have screened in Art Basel Miami Beach, Contemporary Art Ruhr, Athens Video Art Festival, Festival des Cinemas Differents de Paris, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, the San Francisco Cinematheque’s Crossroads, and Experiments in Cinema, among others. His video Telemetry screened as an installation during the first Athens Video Art Festival. Other installions were site-specific, as part of Art Basel Miami Beach: the Sites-Miami project in 2004, and at the South Florida Art Center’s 800 Lincoln Road exhibition space as part of the Face-to-Face series in 2011.

Point Blank (publisher)

Point Blank is an imprint of Wildside Press, founded in early 2004 by J. T. Lindroos and John Gregory Betancourt. Allan Guthrie and Kathleen Martin have worked with the company from its beginning in various editorial roles. Point Blank publishes mostly hard boiled crime fiction, both original novels and classic reprints. Its inaugural publication was Two-Way Split, the first novel by Allan Guthrie, followed by novels and short story collections from James Reasoner, James Sallis, Gary Phillips, O'Neil De Noux, Ed Lynskey, and many others.

Point Blank published the first novels of Allan Guthrie, Donna Moore, Ray Banks, Dave Zeltserman and Duane Swierczynski. It received high praise from Ken Bruen in its first year.Although based in North America, Point Blank publishes novels from UK authors such as Ray Banks and Donna Moore as well as Australians Damien Broderick and Rory Barnes.

Point Blank has released occasional cinema titles, including The DVD Savant by Glenn Erickson and The Complete Guide to Low-Budget Feature Filmmaking by filmmaker Josh Becker.

Stephen Dedman

Stephen Dedman (born 1959 in Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian author of dark fantasy and science fiction stories and novels.

Tales from Jabba's Palace

Tales from Jabba's Palace is an anthology of short stories set in the fictional Star Wars universe. The book was edited by Kevin J. Anderson and released on December 1, 1995.

Tales from the Spaceport Bar

Tales from the Spaceport Bar is an anthology of science fiction club tales edited by George H. Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer. It was first published in paperback by Avon Books in January 1987. The first British edition was issued in paperback by New English Library in 1988.

The Heart of the Warrior

The Heart of the Warrior is a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel written by John Gregory Betancourt.

In Voyages of Imagination, Betancourt remarked, "Worf has always been one of my favorite characters, and I wanted to write a book about him but set in the Dominion, where he would find a challenge to his hand-to-hand combat skills. Unfortunately, later seasons of DS9 developed the Founders and Dominion enough that my book is, ah, retroactively contradictory to the official universe in a number of places. Which is too bad because I think it's my best Trek novel."

The Secret History of Vampires

The Secret History of Vampires is an anthology of original fantasy/horror historical short stories edited by Darrell Schweitzer. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in April 2007.

Tom O'Bedlam's Night Out and Other Strange Excursions

Tom O'Bedlam's Night Out and Other Strange Excursions is a collection of dark fantasy short stories written by Darrell Schweitzer. It was first published in hardcover and trade paperback by W. Paul Ganley in November 1985. An electronic edition was published by Necon E-Books in December 2012 as no. 20 of its Necon Classic Horror series. The copyright statement of the Necon edition states that it "incorporates the author's final revisions and should be regarded as definitive."

Transients and Other Disquieting Stories

Transients and Other Disquieting Stories is a collection of dark fantasy short stories by American writer Darrell Schweitzer. It was first published in hardcover and trade paperback by W. Paul Ganley in April 1993. It was nominated for the 1994 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection. An electronic edition was published by Necon E-Books in 2011 as no. 10 of its Necon Classic Horror series. The copyright statement of the Necon edition states that it "incorporates the author's final revisions and should be regarded as definitive."

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