Betancourt, John (Gregory) 1963-
BETANCOURT, John (Gregory) 1963-
PERSONAL: Born October 25, 1963, in St. Louis, MO; son of Felipe Pablo Andreas (an archaeologist) and Mary Aliece (an English teacher; maiden name, Standefer) Betancourt; married Carmen Kim Hermo (a mortgage analyst), October 21, 1990; children: Ian James. Education: Temple University, B.A. Politics: Republican.
ADDRESSES: Home—37 Fillmore St., Newark, NJ 07105.
CAREER: Amazing Stories, Lake Geneva, WI, assistant editor, 1985-87; Weird Tales, Philadelphia, PA, editor, 1987-90; Byron Preiss Visual Publications, New York, NY, senior editor, 1990—; writer. Wildside Press, founder and publisher, 1989.
MEMBER: Horror Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America.
Rogue Pirate, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1986.
The Blind Archer, Avon (New York, NY), 1988.
Johnny Zed, Warner (New York, NY), 1988.
Dr. Bones, Volume 5: The Dragons of Komako, Ace (New York, NY), 1989.
Rememory, Warner (New York, NY), 1990.
(Under pseudonym Jeremy Kingston) Time Tours, Volume 6: Caesar's Time Legions, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.
Playing in Wonderland, Wildside (Newark, NJ), 1994.
(With Kevin J. Anderson) Born of Elven Blood, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1995.
(With Greg Cox) Star Trek, Deep Space Nine: Devil in the Sky, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Incident at Arbuk, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1996.
Infection, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.
Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.
Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber, iBooks, 2003.
Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber Book 3, To Rule in Amber, iBooks, 2004.
(With Johnston McCulley) The Mark of Zorro, Wild-side (Newark, NJ), 2005.
Roger Zelazny's Shadows of Amber, iBooks, 2005.
(With Johnston McCulley) Tales of Thubway Tham, Wildside (Newark, NJ), 2005.
Playing in Wonderland, Wildside (Newark, NJ), 2005.
(With Byron Preiss, David Keller, and Megan Miller) The Ultimate Frankenstein, Dell (New York, NY), 1991.
(With Byron Preiss, David Keller, and Megan Miller) The Ultimate Werewolf, Dell (New York, NY), 1991.
(With Byron Preiss, David Keller, and Megan Miller) The Ultimate Dracula, Dell (New York, NY), 1991.
(With Byron Preiss) The Ultimate Zombie, Dell (New York, NY), 1993.
(With Byron Preiss) The Ultimate Witch, Dell (New York, NY), 1993.
Swashbuckling Editor Stories, Wildside, 1993.
(With Marvin Kaye) The Best of Weird Tales: 1923, Wildside, 1994.
(With Byron Preiss) The Ultimate Alien, Dell (New York, NY), 1995.
(With Byron Preiss) The Ultimate Dragon, Dell (New York, NY), 1995.
The Best of Weird Tales: The Terminus Years, Barnes & Noble (Lanham, MD), 1995.
The Sci-Fi Channel Trivia Book, Boulevard Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey, Warner (New York, NY), 1996.
Horrorscape: New Masterpieces of Horror, Volume 1, iBooks, 2005.
Horrorscape: New Masterpieces of Horror, Volume 2, iBooks, 2005.
Pulp Classics: Sinister Stories #1 (February 1940), Wildside (Newark, NJ), 2005.
Pulp Classics: Spicey Mystery Stories (February 1937), Wildside (Newark, NJ), 2005.
(With Roger Fulton) The Sci-Fi Channel Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction, Aspect (New York, NY), 1998.
Work represented in anthologies, including One Hundred Great Fantasy Short-Short Stories, Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural, and Predators. Contributor to periodicals, including Transit, Washington Post Book World, and Writer's Digest.
SIDELIGHTS: John Betancourt is a prolific writer and editor of horror, fantasy, and science-fiction volumes. He has collaborated with Byron Preiss on a number of projects, including anthologies about zombies, aliens, and dragons, and The Ultimate Witch, an anthology of stories about witchcraft in different styles. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that the collection's "best stories deal with contemporary witchcraft and mystical experiences."
Betancourt worked with Roger Fulton to create The Sci-Fi Channel Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction. This book is hailed as "one of the most comprehensive sources" of information on genre television programs by John Doherty, a reviewer for Booklist. Beginning with the early days of television, the book moves through the years to the mid-1990s, giving general information about science-fiction programs as well as episode titles and details. Fantasies and time-travel series, as well as comedies with science fiction or fantasy elements, are also included in the listings. A Booklist reviewer found it somewhat lacking in detail but noted: "Its strength is its broad coverage."
The author also wrote prequel material to the "Amber" series, written by the late Roger Zelazny. Zelazny's series featured rugged warriors, Corwin and Merlin, who live in a world filled with magic. Betancourt's Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber told the story of their father, a warrior who discovers his magical origins. A Publishers Weekly reviewer recommended the book, saying, "The narrative may lack the sparkling wit of its predecessors, but the cliffhanger ending should leave the faithful hungry for the next installment."
Betancourt told CA: "I spent my childhood summers in remote parts of Greece. Reading to escape the boredom became an integral part of my life. 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.
"In high school I discovered editing. While in college I found a part-time job as an assistant editor with the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. After graduation I revived the famous pulp horror magazine Weird Tales with Darrell Schweitzer and George Scithers. I was then hired away by Byron Preiss Visual Publications to edit a growing list of science fiction books. Today I also develop science fiction, fantasy, and horror books and interactive games for CD-ROM."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Analog Science Fiction & Fact, March, 2003, Tom Easton, review of Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber, p. 136.
Booklist, March 15, 1999, review of The Sci-Fi Channel Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction, p. 1358; April 15, 2000, John Doherty, review of The Sci-Fi Channel Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction, p. 1574.
Library Journal, September 15, 2002, Jackie Cassada, review of Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber, p. 96.
Publishers Weekly, September 13, 1993, p. 123; April 1, 2002, Michael Levy, interview with John Betancourt, p. 58; September 9, 2002, review of Roger Zelzany's The Dawn of Amber, p. 47.
Science Fiction Studies, March, 2000, Rob Latham, review of The Sci-Fi Channel Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction, p. 177.*