ReAnimus Acquires Advent:Publishers

The Advent Publishers display table at the 1960 Worldcon. Robert E. Briney, Earl Kemp and Joe Sarno. Photo by James O’Meara.

The Advent Publishers display table at the 1960 Worldcon. Robert E. Briney, Earl Kemp and Joe Sarno. Photo by James O’Meara.

ReAnimus Press has acquired Advent:Publishers. Advent will become a ReAnimus subsidiary, and when its titles are reissued they will appear under the Advent name.

Advent was founded in 1955 by Earl Kemp, Robert Briney, Sidney Coleman, James O’Meara, George Price, Jon Stopa and Ed Wood. The following year Advent published its first book, In Search of Wonder, a collection of critical essays by Damon Knight. The last book from Advent came out in 2006, Heinlein’s Children: The Juveniles by Joseph T. Major.

ReAnimus Press is an ebook publisher founded by Andrew Burt, who is also known for his dozens of short stories, and past service as a vice president of SFWA. ReAnimus produced its first book in 2011 and now has around 125 titles available for sale by Norman Spinrad, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ben Bova and many others.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Price Is Trib “Pen Pal”

Long-time sf fan George W. Price was recently featured as one of the Chicago Tribune’s ”Pen Pals”, a series of profiles about people who frequently write letters-to-the-editor.

Unique trait: Price is obsessed with limericks and puns. “The more atrocious, the better,” he says. He is also a huge fan of science fiction, and has attended the WindyCon Science Fiction Convention and Cleveland’s World Science Fiction Convention, and was a member of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society.

George W. Price

George W. Price

For decades George’s parties were an important gathering point for Chicago fans. As a young fan, when I quizzed somebody about Chicago’s counterpart to the science fiction clubs in other big cities like LASFS, Lunarians and WSFA, he said George’s parties were it.

Since 1951 George has been a partner in Advent:Publishers, producer of legendary critical and historical books the sf field.  He recounted his role as an editor and publisher in this 2005 article for Earl Kemp’s zine eI.

Bill Higgins found online a rather science-fictional letter George wrote in 1993 to another publication, the Chicago Reader, proposing that to pay for highway use each car carry an electronic gadget

At each expressway entrance and exit a detector interrogates the plate as it goes by and relays its number to a central computer. Mileage is calculated and charged to the owner on a monthly bill, just like long-distance phone calls. (“ABC-123 enters Dan Ryan at 35th southbound; exits at 95th; total distance 7.5 miles; at 20/mile, charge $1.50.”)

Higgins says, “A decade later, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority was fielding a system much like this.”

[Thanks to Bill Higgins for the story.]

Bob Briney’s Passing Revealed

The Advent Publishers display table at the 1960 Worldcon. Robert E. Briney, Earl Kemp and Joe Sarno. Photo by James O’Meara.

Robert E. Briney, a co-founder of Advent:Publishers and an active sf fan in the 1950s and 1960s before he became a mystery fan, was found dead in his home in November.  He was 78. Francis M. Nevins, Jr.  announced his passing on the Mystery File blog. Nevins says:

Bob Briney was something of a universal genius. Physically he evoked Orson Welles or Nero Wolfe but was soft-spoken and totally without their irascibility and moved with a certain gingerliness as if he were afraid he’d crush something if his movements were more forceful.

Advent was founded by several fans in 1955. The following year Advent published its first book, a collection of Damon Knight’s critical essays, In Search of Wonder.

Briney was also involved in publishing a fanzine, Cataclysm, with Del Close, which was published sporadically from 1949 to 1954.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster and Andrew Porter for the story.]