Sonny Mehta, ‘Fringie of the New Wave Scene’

sonny mehta Sonny Mehta, Fringie of the New Wave SceneA while back, friends encouraged author Norman Sprinrad to turn his failed French history screenplay into a novel. Doing so would require some connections, of course—did Sprinrad know any New York editors who might be able to make it happen?

Well, I said, I think there’s this guy who was an editor at a secondary science fiction paperback line I met a couple of times back in London in the 1960s when my novel BUG JACK BARRON was getting me denounced in Parliament, a fringie of the New Wave scene, who I think now has some kind of editorial job in New York. He would probably be familiar with my work at least by reputation, every editor in London certainly was at the time.  

“What’s his name?” asked Russ.

“Sonny Mehta.”

Alas, this is the light part. The rest is a bleak portrait of what Spinrad calls “The Publishing Death Spiral.” Or as The Awl neatly summarized, “Norman Sprinrad Trashes Knopf, Sonny Mehta, Chip Kidd, and American Publishing.”