Sep 28 2010 3:42pm

Ralph Vicinanza, 1950-2010

Ralph Vicinanza passed away Sunday night, of a cerebral aneurism. He was 60 years old. That’s way too young. I’ve worked with him throughout my entire career in publishing—he was almost exactly my contemporary. He was getting his legs under him as a foreign rights agent while I was learning to be an editor at Ace. I valued his trust and respect, and was happy to see him grow to be so very successful, as his client list grew. Ralph was a bulldog of an advocate for his clients, and I always knew that a deal with Ralph would be as good as it could possibly be for both author and publisher. He took that advocacy with him into television and film production. He enjoyed his life.

Ralph really loved books; he loved his clients’ novels. When we got together over breakfast at conventions, or in his irregular after-hours phone calls, we’d talk about books—what we loved, where we thought a writer was going. He made a lot of money with his bestseller clients, but he also adored his smaller books, his less successful writers. I’m still counting up the authors—everyone will be talking about Stephen King, Peter Straub, but Ralph also represented Jack Vance, who loved him like a son. He represented Connie Willis, Kim Stanley Robinson, David Brin, Steven Gould, Megan Lindholm, Mike Brotherton, Cecelia Holland (for a time), Robert Sawyer, Lucius Shepard...so many more. He took care of his writers; he took them, and their work, seriously.

I know the agency will go on—Ralph trained an excellent group of agents—and continue doing good for writers. But I will miss Ralph, and so will the network of thousands of people that he wove together.

Matt Bialer
1. Matt Bialer
Beautifully said Beth. I will miss Ralph. I will miss that big grin on his face. And I could see how much he advocated for his clients. His agency will be in good hands but Ralph will be missed. The Frankfurt Book Fair is next week and I find it very odd that that Ralph passed away days before it...a place where he flourished as an agent and was in his element. I know that publishers and agents abroad deeply respected Ralph and are feeling the loss just as much as we are.
Sarah Smith
2. sarahwriter
Ah shit. What a man he was, a combination of glee, attitude, sense, and heart.
What a loss to the business.
Raise a glass to him.
Ellen Datlow
3. datlow
Ralph was one of a kind and he'll be missed, both personally and professionally.
Steven Gould
4. StevenGould
Thank you, Beth.

That was Ralph, all right. He worked for over a decade to get JUMPER on the big screen and I was one of his more minor clients. I will miss him terribly.
Matt Bialer
7. dwg
Ralph was a gentleman and a scholar and a wonderful friend. I'm in disbelief and will miss him terribly, and I know I'm one of a very many.
Rob Munnelly
8. RobMRobM
Very nice post on GRRM's Not a Blog site. Key point made is he was the best ever at getting foreign rights deals done and getting clients' works translated into local languages.

Matt Bialer
9. CindaChima
I am a client of Vicinanza agency, and I was always thrilled to have Ralph on my side, along with Christopher Schelling, Chris Lotts and the rest. Rest in peace.

Matt Bialer
10. RobertJSawyer
Thanks for this, Beth. Ralph was a wonderful man and a wonderful agent. My own tribute to him is in my blog.
Matt Bialer
11. Peter Emshwiller
Thanks, Beth. so sad.
Matt Bialer
12. Bill Schafer
One thing I always appreciated about Ralph, and told him so, was that he understood the role a specialty press could play in an author's career, and was unfailingly supportive and enthusiastic of our efforts.

Matt Bialer
I will always remember the times we shared growing up. You always made time to listen and guide me. We had many laughs and you were always the voice of reason. I am crying as I write this because Ican't believe you are gone. You may be gone, but will always be in my heart. I love you Ralph!!

Matt Bialer
14. Mr Bello Usman
Dear Sir/Madam,

We are large scale miners located at Tarkwa in Western Region Ghana with postal address as follows: P.O.Box 1080,Achimota, Accra - Ghana, West Africa. We are incorporated under the Companies Code 1963, Act 179 with RC No: 63,556 (Registrar of Companies, Ghana). We are duly registered with the Minerals Commission as well as the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited, Ghana (PMMC). We have export permit issued by PMMC and certificate of non - criminal origin issued by the High Court, Ghana. We sell gold mined from our concessions. We need a trustworthy person/agent who will represent us internationally in marketing our product.In fact,We can appoint you as our sole representative even to invest our income from the sales in your country.The condition of this sale is cash payment after inspection.If you introduce a buyer who is capable to purchase this stock, you will receive a commission of 6% of the sales value from us.Thank you for your interest in our gold dust offer.A full corporate offer will be sent upon demand.

We have in stock;-

1. Product: AU Metal (Gold)
2. Origin: Ghana West Africa
3. Type: Alluvial
4. Purity: 22.5 Carat or 92%
5. Quantity: 100-1000 kilos
6. Price: $18,500 per kg


Mr Bello Usman
Sales Representative,Benin Rep
Direct Tel +22966650927
Email; pmmclo@cooltoad.com
Matt Bialer
15. Geoffrey Sonnen
I met Ralph back in 1984 when I lived in NYC for the 2nd time. I moved back home,and we lost contact. I tried looking him up back in 2000,but found that he had moved. And just now,my finding that he had passed away truly saddens me. It truly is a strong statement to be said about the heart of someone when you can vividly remember their kindnesses,honest and direct manner,and the fun you shared together... even after many years. I remember our going over the song,"Where Or When",over and over with him on guitar and me singing. Whenever I hear that song,I think of him. RIP,Ralph. Hopefully someday we can share our love for music together again.

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