Nitrosyncretic Press About

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Nitrosyncretic Press was founded in 2000 on the foundations of the stillborn Anvil Press. Anvil Press was created as the launch vehicle for Robert A. Heinlein: A Reader's Companion, and as such was in limbo along with that project for several years.

When it came time to actually launch the company and the first book, a last-minute decision was made to rename the company. The meaning of “Anvil Press” had been lost in the interim, and two existing companies with that name (both small publishers of fine poetry, one in Canada and one in the UK) had objected to our use of the name. Although we had become widely known under the Anvil Press name and had every legal right to use it, we decided to change the name to prevent confusion and to give ourselves a clearer and more unique identification. (See What's a “Nitrosyncretic”? below for details.)

Nitrosyncretic Press, or NitroPress for short, was launched in early 2000 with the publication of RAH:ARC. After our very successful first year, we added a second Heinlein-related title and prepared to expand our catalog with several more Heinlein-related titles. What with one thing and another, most of those titles were postponed or sidelined while we explored other areas.

Nitrosyncretic Press remains the core of our business operations and will be producing more titles in a variety of fields in the next few years.

Agents, Owners & Copyright

We are not an official representative of Robert Heinlein's estate or agents, but we are on cordial working terms with both.

We do not represent or own any part of Heinlein's literary rights or legacy. If you have questions about legal use of Heinlein's copyrighted material, contact the estate agent, Eleanor Wood of Spectrum Literary Agency.

What's a “Nitrosyncretic”?

We've regularly receive inquiries about our unusual name. It's actually a Heinlein reference, but one that's so obscure that you won't find it in any of his books.

In 1942, William A.P. White (aka Anthony Boucher and H.H. Holmes) published a novel titled Rocket to the Morgue. Set in contemporary Los Angeles, the characters are thinly-disguised caricatures of White's writing colleagues. One of the main characters, Austin Carter, is closely modeled on Robert Heinlein.

In the novel, a character goes to "Carter's" house and finds the following intimidating sign on the front door:

! ! ! DANGER ! ! !
NITROSYNCRETIC LABORATORY
! KEEP OUT !

As another character describes it:

“Nice gag, isn't it? You see, the way this house is situated on a hill, people come to this door before the proper main door. This is Austin's workroom, and he used to have a hell of a time with Liberty salesmen. Poundings on the door are distracting when you're working on the collapse of an interstellar empire. But since he put up the sign, salesmen take one look, shudder, and get the hell out.”

Heinlein's Laurel Canyon home was so arranged, and he did have a similarly-worded sign on the outer office door.

The word is apparently a unique creation of White's. At least, searches haven't turned up any other instances of it, either copied from his usage or separately coined. The value of a completely unique keyword for the Internet and publishing lists needs no emphasis.

The derivation of the word is an amusing fit with our goals as well. "Nitro" refers to the nitrogen group, used in both explosives and fertilizers. "Syncretism" is the combining of several disciplines to achieve a new synthesis of ideas. The right book can trigger an intellectual explosion, or fertilize a thousand ideas, and often puts together information from a new mix of sources.

So, we aren't just called Nitrosyncretic. We are nitrosyncretic!

Publishing Techniques

No Print-on-Demand

Unlike many specialty presses, we do not use Print on Demand processes for our printed titles. We prefer to have our books printed by one of America's finest book printers, using traditional print and bindery techniques to assure high quality and excellent durability.

While you're here, click the No PoD icon to see the lovely piece of art that graces our office wall and helps provide our guiding principles.

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