Time was when science fiction was scorned by major publishers of general fiction. “Crazy Buck Rogers stuff!” Most of them wouldn’t touch it with a stick, or if they did they put it out in disguise. If you’re old enough you know what that was like. It was not fun.
But the True Believers of the era decided that–if the big kids wouldn’t let us into the game, we’d do it ourselves! The result was an onslaught of fan-owned publishers.
Remember Fantasy Press? FPCI? Polaris Press? Gnome Press? All gone now, and surviving copies of their books are pricey items on the collectors’ market.
But along came Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein and Ursula K. Le Guin and Philip K. Dick, and suddenly the Big Dogs of publishers’ row woke up to the fact that there was a sizable audience for science fiction and there were many dollars to be made there.
Well, not quite everything. There are still True Believers. Publishers that are in the business because they believe in science fiction, in its unique vision of the value of literature. In saving the world, one good book at a time.
One of the best of these publishers is Tachyon Press. Twenty-five years of Tachyon Press. It’s hard to believe. I hope they keep on saving the world in their own special way for another twenty years. Heck, why stop then? Let’s see Tachyon keep saving the world, one good book at a time. Heaven knows this old world needs saving!