PO Box 94661
Oakland, CA 94661
Dear Mr. Brown:
I am writing this letter regarding an article that appeared in LOCUS, April 1997, about Jim Turner's new publishing outfit Golden Gryphon Press.
I am writing so no one will be mislead or become confused between my publishing outfit, Gryphon Publications (publishers of Gryphon Books, Gryphon Doubles, as well as the magazines PAPERBACK PARADE AND HARDBOILED), and Turner's new Golden Gryphon Press.
I have been publishing under the Gryphon name since 1985. It is a name that I have built up over years of thankless hard work, much expense and incredible sacrifice. I worked like a dog to build this tiny company, and still always treated people fairly, especially the authors, fans, artists and dealers. I never took cheap short cuts to make money at someone else's expense. And that has always helped me, because authors trust me, they like to work with me, the respect the work I am doing. So much that dealers will now buy, sight unseen, any book I publish because they know it will be good. That's an incredible accomplishment I am very proud of. Sure we don't make a lot of money. However I will not share my name and what I have built up with years of sweat and hard work with anyone trying to ride on my coattails by using a name I have built!
Today I have achieved some recognition in the science fiction filed by publishing many new books and classic reprints of SF masters in my new "Gryphon SF Re-Discovery Series". The are just gorgeous books. Finally, good things are beginning to happen for me and Gryphon, but now I discover another outfit doing similar books in the same field have appropriated my name. This hurts me and the good work I have been doing for more than a decade. It is a serious matter to me, as it should be to anyone who cares about what is right, and if you care that a publisher do the right thing.
I myself did the right thing in 1984 when I first began publishing under the name "Fantasia Books". At that time the owner of Phantasia Books asked me to change the name of my outfit so that it would not conflict with his. I did not stand on the legalities then. I just did what was right. I changed the name of my publishing outfit. I expect nothing less from anyone else, and that includes Jim Turner and his Golden Gryphon Press.
When I saw the article in LOCUS I wrote Jim Turner a letter explaining how the name he had chosen would cause confusion and mislead my customers (at the time he had no customers because he had not begun operation yet). I asked him politely to change the name of his outfit and drop any use of the word "Gryphon" form his company. I never heard from Mr. Turner, instead, I was referred to his attorney who said they had no intention of changing the name.
I am sure that had Mr. Turner begun his publishing outfit under the name of Golden Knopf Press, or perhaps Golden Random House, or even Golden Locus Publications that he would have forced to change his name. But then again, would he have even tried that with a major, large publisher -- when there are so many little fish to push around? These are the tactics of a bully.
I think that anyone reading this letter should consider the implications of this situation very seriously. Remember, the same thing could happen to you!
I hope that all science fiction fans, editors and readers who give a damn about fairness will write the science fiction trade magazines: LOCUS (PO Box 13305, Oakland, CA 94661), and Andrew's Porter's SCIENCE FICTION CHRONICLE (PO Box 2730, Brooklyn, NY 11202), and other venues and loudly voice their disapproval and outrage over the practices of Mr. Turner. This is no way to begin any kind of publishing venture and no way to treat a fellow science fiction publisher.
PO Box 209
Brooklyn, NY 11228-0209