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Friday, August 2, 2013

James Frenkel out at Tor Books

Editor James Frenkel, a prominent science fiction editor, played a large role in the career of Robert Anton Wilson. As an editor at Dell, he pushed to have Illuminatus! reprinted as a one volume omnibus, a move Frenkel believes has helped keep the trilogy in print. Frenkel also was RAW's editor for the "Historical Illuminatus" series. You know about all this if you've read my interview with Frenkel. 

Ansible and other science fiction news outlets have reported that Frenkel no longer works as an editor at Tor Books (a big deal SF publisher). Here is Ansible's version:

"JAMES FRENKEL is no longer an editor at Tor Books (see also _A312_). Patrick Nielsen Hayden announced the departure in a succession of tweets: 'James Frenkel is no longer associated with Tor Books. We wish him the best. / We'll be contacting the authors and agents Mr. Frenkel worked with to discuss which editor here they'll be working with going forward. / This process will take some days or even weeks, so please be patient if you don't hear from us instantly. / Finally, if you had something on submission to Tor via Mr. Frenkel, you'll need to resubmit it via some other Tor editor. / If you don't have a particular editor in mind, you can re-submit it via Diana Pho (diana.pho [at] who will route it appropriately.' (all 11 July)"

This departure may be related to allegations that Frenkel sexually harassed a woman at Wiscon, a U.S. science fiction convention. Ansible again: "Elise Matthesen wrote about being sexually harassed at Wiscon this year, describing how she reported this to the convention and confirmed her report to the employers of the offender. He was later named as Tor editor James Frenkel. (, 28 June) Lawyers should please imagine the above as sprinkled with 'allegedly'."

There's been commentary about all of this on various blogs, but I could not find any accounts of what Frenkel allegedly actually said or did. So I offer no comment.

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