Bad News for Queer Readers: Don Wiese has left Alyson Books. And, sadly, there is more.

Posted on October 1, 2010
Filed Under Queer Lit News | 409 Comments

It’s official:  Don Wiese has left Alyson Books. This is terrible news for queer readers. Mr. Wiese is an excellent editor. He transformed Carrol and Graf into a high quality publishing house. And he published quite a few high quality queer-themed titles there. One of my favorites was Richard Hofler’s The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson. But there were many more. Carrol and Graf was making a healthy profit when its parent company inexplicably chose to shutter it.

Then under Mr. Wiese’s leadership, Alyson was in the process of being transformed into a high quality publishing house. Mr. Wiese worked closely with Gods and Monsters author Christopher Bram.  The resulting collection of essays–Mapping the Territory –reads like a literary memoir. Mr. Wiese also published a long-overdue paperback edition of Bob Smith’s Selfish and Perverse plus original paperback editions of Sebastian Stuart’s The Hour Between, David McConnell’s The Silver-Hearted and The Collected Plays of Mart Crowley. A damned good record for a relatively short tenure.

If only Mr. Wiese had been given a little more time–and a lot more resources–Alyson could have become a high quality publishing house. But that was not meant to be. Because today it was also announced that Alyson will cease to publish actual books–only e-books. In other words, it is no longer credible.

And we have lost one of our best editors.

UPDATE 11/8/10:  I was wrong.  We haven’t lost one our best editors.  Alyson lost one of our best editors.  Mr. Wiese is, of course, alive and well.  And today it was  announced that Don Wiese will head a new independently owned publishing house:  Magnus Books. This is wonderful news for seekers of quality literature.

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