|Name:||AMC Press (formerly Sunshine Press, formally Paranoid Press)|
|Contact:||TACS, Laura Peck|
|Type:||fanfic, slash fanzine publisher|
|Fandoms:||CSI, The Sentinel, Mixed Media, Man from Uncle, Star Wars: TPM, Professionals, Starsky & Hutch, CSI|
|Other:||Click here for a complete list of this publisher's fanzines and awards|
|URL:||WB machine link to their website, Archived version|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Prior to AMC Press, the two fans published in the 1980s under the name "Sunshine Press", then in the mid 1990s under the name "Paranoid Press." Their later fanzines were known for having spiral binding and color covers with interior artwork.
AMC Press also agented for other fanzine publishers such as Asbestos Press and CrowRow Productions. Starting in 2003, AMC Press began distributing fanzines through Lionheart Distribution until Lionheart ceased selling fanzines in 2005. In 2010, their zines were reissued in ebook format by Lionheart when it resumed fanzine agenting (either as pdf downloads or on CDs). AMC Press fanzines won several awards such as the Stiffie and Sizzler awards. In addition to publishing, TACS illustrated numerous fanzines (for both her press and for other fanzine publishers).
A Review of the Press
When I first got into reading and buying Slash zines at Revelcon 9, in March of 1998, a fairly well-known Sentinel Slash writer there told me that if I liked Sentinel Slash I should buy the Come to Your Senses zines (published by Mysti Frank and Whatever You Do, Don’t Press!) instead of the Love and Guns Sentinel Slash zines published by AMC Press. She said that the Love and Guns zines weren’t well-edited and were difficult to read. I took her advice and stuck to CTYS. Now I have confirmation that she was right, and that she gave me some good advice.
The first AMC Press zines I bought were the Sen-slash novels Dragons and Kings, The Jungle Book and Magick. They were all well-written novels, and well-edited. However, I now know that this was due more to the fact that the authors are all experienced and conscientious writers who use multiple betas, than the efforts of the publishers themselves. Later AMC Press novels that I’ve read have been very disappointing in that regard. You could argue that this is the fault of the author and editing is their own responsibility. However, AMC Press is the one selling these zines, which are inferior in reading quality to similar Sentinel slash zines published by others. I would think that pride in their work would motivate them to take the time to produce a well-designed and easy-to-read zine. It can’t be that hard to find betas to edit advance copies of these zines. I myself would happily volunteer!
AMC Press includes in all of their zines the amazingly beautiful artwork of TACS, but that alone isn’t going to entice me to spend over $20 on a zine that will give me a headache when I try to read it. It’s very unfortunate, but I won’t be buying any more AMC Press zines unless they are written by an author I’m familiar with or come highly recommended by friends. It may be picky of me, but I expect a bit more from zines than Net fiction. A poorly edited story on the Net I can easily accept - it’s free, and I can ignore it if it bothers me. A poorly edited zine means I’m out some hard-earned money and now have a zine to try to sell or find a home for if I don’t want some trees to have died in vain. I don’t think expecting zine publishers to edit and proofread their zines is too much to ask.
Note: Evidently I'm not the only one who feels this way! I recently received some feedback that said, "Bless you for saying publicly what people mutter in private about AMC."
Update: The above was written in the Fall of 1999. AMC has come out with many new zines since then, both the 'Love and Guns' series and individual novels. Because of the above, I haven't dared to buy them. If anyone has read anything by AMC Press that I haven't reviewed above, send me a note letting me know what you thought of it. I'm curious if they've improved their editing style or are still devil-may-care about the whole concept.
Update 2: Answered my own question. In the early summer of 2000 I bought the Q/O novel 'Walk Softly And Carry A Big Lightsaber' by Mercutio that AMC Press published as part of their 'Best of the Net' series. This was a fantastic novel that I'd read on the Net, and AMC kept up their record of no editing whatsoever. It's a great novel, and worth reading as a zine, especially if you love the story. Just realize that no editing work was done on the zine. So I still won't buy anything from AMC unless it is, like 'Walk Softly', something I've read on the Net, or is from an author I'm familiar with.Update 3: I've gotten some email/feedback from several people who order zines by mail, all of whom really appreciated AMC Press for a very important reason: AMC has a very good record of promptly filling zine orders correctly and sending them out in record time. For those who cannot attend actual slash conventions (which are few and far between, I know), the only way to get zines is to order them by mail. AMC has a good record in this regard. Some other zine publishers and agents, I have been told, are *not* so good about responding speedily. I've heard stories of people sending checks to a publisher, the check is cashed, and no zine is received for months. Emails to the publisher/agent go unanswered. Since I have no personal experience with this, since I've been fortunate enough to be able to buy most of my zines at cons, I won't name names and resort to hearsay. But I did want to let people know that AMC Press does have a good record in that regard. They also agent zines from AngelWings Press, so it's not just their own zines that they distribute. And there are some zines from AMC Press that I adore; 'The Jungle Book' and 'Walk Softly and Carry a Big Lightsaber' are two zines I'd make an effort to carry out with me if my house was on fire! So it is good to know that it is easy to obtain them.
List of Zines
- All My Roads - novel
- The Alternate Sentinel - anthology
- Alternate Visions - novel
- BJ Sandburg - novel
- Borders - novel
- Catalyst - novel
- Compounded Interest - anthologies
- Conjunction – novel
- The Diary Series - novel
- Dragons and Kings - novel
- Family Secrets - novel
- Freedom of Choice – novel
- The Game's Afoot - novel
- In the Public Interest - anthologies
- Insight- novel
- Love & Guns - anthologies
- The Magician's Apprentice—novel
- Magick – novel
- A Million Pieces - novel
- Nature Series - novel
- Other Times and Places – anthologies
- The President's Son - novel
- Previous Loves - novel
- Reign of Terror - novel
- Rough Trade - novel
- Running with the Storm - novel
- Stories with a Different Hue - author
- Sweet Memory - novel
- Tarkalean Tea - anthology
- To Thine Own Self Be True - novel
- Without Prejudice - novel
- from [www.geocities.com/SoHo/Cafe/2564/zines.html online review of the zine publisher at SoHo Cafe], Archived version