Passionate creator of literary platforms.
September 25, 1919
Ian and Betty Ballantine helped form Bantam Books in 1945 and Ballantine Books in 1952, two major publishing houses for science fiction and fantasy works.
Ballantine Books became known for simultaneously publishing books in hardcover and paperback, which was unheard of until then. The company was also one of the earliest publishers of original science fiction paperbacks, starting with The Space Merchants (1952) by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. They also championed cover artist Richard M. Powers, whose surrealist covers helped change the public perception of science fiction and fantasy novels.
In 1965, Ballantine Books printed the first authorized edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and in 1969 created the Adult Fantasy line, which reissued out-of-print fantasy works by authors such as Lord Dunsany, Hope Mirrlees, H. Rider Haggard, and H.P. Lovecraft.
The Ballantines won two World Fantasy Awards, in 1975 and 1984. Betty Ballantine received a special Science Fiction Writers of America President’s Award in 2002 and a Special Committee Award from LACon IV in 2006.