To all the kind people who have responded to the Support Peter Beagle website. This is definitely me, and no avatar of Connor Cochran. I fully understand your anxiety – heaven knows, at this point I share it myself, on a never-ending and exhausting basis – but I can assure you in grateful honesty that your donations are going only toward legal costs (not fees), which mount up by the moment. Please accept my thanks, and feel free to contact me if you’re in any further doubt concerning the genuineness of this website. We’ll yet get through this mess together.
Acclaimed fantasy author Peter S. Beagle has filed a lawsuit against his former business manager Connor Cochran and Mr. Cochran’s associated businesses for fraud, defamation, elder abuse, and breach of contract, among other charges. Peter trusted Mr. Cochran – who systematically used that trust to appropriate Peter’s life’s work for himself and destroy Peter’s reputation for his own personal gain.
Peter recently had a complete neuropsychological evaluation done at Mr. Cochran’s insistence, which included more than a dozen tests of memory and cognitive function in addition to a clinical interview. The licensed clinical psychologist concluded that Peter’s verbal memory scores were excellent and that his IQ score was in the 91st percentile for his age group. Peter received a second opinion from another licensed doctor, this one a neurologist, who reached the same conclusion: Peter is fully competent. This information is available to the public, including a copy of the neurologist’s statement, through the complaint.
Meanwhile, Peter continues to write daily. Stories, novellas, and other works are on the way, and his recent obituary of Christopher Lee, which is replete with his personal memories and anecdotes over the past thirty years, was published in Vanity Fair in June.
Peter does not control his social media. Conversely, Mr. Cochran has an active voice online, which puts Peter at a bit of a disadvantage in the social media environment. Moving forward, Peter requests that The Last Unicorn Facebook fan page be used solely for appreciation of the book and movie and a place for all lovers of fantasy to connect, interact, and dream. The lawsuit need not be a concern of the fans, so we are asking for it to please be taken off the page.
Peter greatly appreciates the outpouring of love and support from his friends and fans worldwide.
The journey continues…
You can read Peter’s entire Complaint here.
I was not at all surprised to learn that Connor Cochran and his Ariosto companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 4, just one day before trial was scheduled to begin in Peter‘s lawsuit against his former manager.
As you likely knew by know, Peter’s sued Cochran in 2015 for $52 million in damages, disgorgement of illegal gains and restitution, and to dissolve the two corporations he co-owns with Cochran, Avicenna Development Corporation, and Conlan Press.
Cochran filed with United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. The details are public record. Needless to say the trial against he who I call the Rat Bastard (a term he told me in an email he thinks is unfair) is delayed.
Fantastic news for those rooting for Peter S. Beagle in his lawsuit against his former business manager, Connor Cochran! On Tuesday, November 7th 2017, the Superior Court of Alameda County threw out Cochran’s countersuit against Peter. It was dismissed with prejudice, which means Cochran can’t try it again. Peter’s suit against Cochran continues. The trial will begin as scheduled on January 5th, 2018.
In English instead of Legalese: Peter Beagle sued Connor Cochran for $52M. Connor tried countersuing. The judge looked at the list of documents and records Cochran had failed to produce under the court’s order to do so.
Cochran’s suit against Peter is done. The Court has thrown it out, calling Cochran’s behavior “unusual and egregious”.
Here’s the official public judgement. It’s a thing of beauty. Enjoy!
As many people are aware, Peter Beagle, beloved author of “The Last Unicorn”, “A Fine And Private Place”, and “Summerlong”, is suing his former manager and business partner, Connor Cochran. Now Cochran is publicly claiming co-authorship of most, if not all, of Peter’s titles, from the point at which Peter and Cochran first worked together.
Here is Peter’s statement, in his own words, slapping down Cochran’s claims. As usual, Peter says it better than anyone else could. Please read and share.
I am 78 years old. I have been publishing professionally for almost sixty years. Telling stories, in one way or another, one medium or another, is what I do, and all I ever wanted to do. From the beginning, starting with my first book, A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, I have worked with various publishers and editors, most of them helpful, and a few truly excellent. Connor Cochran, at his best, was for many years one of this latter group. I have said this many times in public, particularly commending his sense of structure; he even suggested titles for several of my stories. I have been grateful over our long acquaintance for such things.
But he did not write my stories, as he is now claiming publicly. They are my work, and no one else’s – as are all my other books, all the way back to that first one, published in 1960, when I was twenty-one. They are my legacy.
To quote a remembered line from the classic movie All About Eve, “It is about time that the piano realized that it has not written the symphony.”
And to quote partially from the words of my lawyer, Kathleen Hunt, addressed to Connor Cochran’s former lawyer, Richard Mooney:
“Your claims are plainly false and inconsistent with the letter and application of U.S. copyright law. The statements may also constitute libel or other injurious action towards Beagle…. You surely knew that there is no evidence of a joint authorship relationship between Cochran and Beagle, that there was no objective manifestation to create a work of joint authorship, that the parties’ conduct at the time the works were created suggests a clear intent not to create a work of joint authorship, and that the statute of limitations had long expired. Under these circumstances, there can be little doubt that the sole purpose of your Correspondence was to fraudulently obtain authorship credit in the 27 Works in order to acquire leverage over my client in pending litigation.”
For fifteen years, over the counsel of true and knowledgeable friends, I trusted Connor Cochran implicitly with all that I believed to be of any real value: my work, and the future of my legacy. I was certain beyond any question that he was a man of honor and creativity. I will forever regret that I was wrong.
Peter S. Beagle
Geekify Inc is running a Kickstarter campaign for new Last Unicorn merchandise, starting with pins, posters and a beautifully illustrated tarot deck with illustrations such as The Star and The Devil which you can see respectively at the right and the left of the above illustration. This is licensed directly from ITV; in addition, Geekify has generously agreed to donate a small portion of the proceeds to Peter directly, so go right ahead and back it on Kickstarter here.
As Peter’s lawsuit against his former manager gets closer to its January court date, look for the public filings to start coming closer together. This latest filing is detailed and really illuminating read.
You can read the filing here.
For fans and supporters of Peter S. Beagle who may have wondered what has been happening with Peter’s lawsuit against his former manager, Beagle Filing 073117 is the latest filing by Peter’s lawyer. This Motion For Preliminary Injunction was filed on July 26, 2017. It asks the court to stop Conlan Press, or any of its agents, from selling and profiting from any of Peter’s work.
We highly recommend settling in with a bowl of popcorn and a tall cold one, and reading all of it. If you’re a fan or supporter of Peter’s, this will give you a look at the damage being done to him.
Please link, share, and let people know. This is a public filing, so let’s make it public!
“I am no king, and I am no lord.
And I am no soldier at arms,” said he.
“I am none but a harper, and a very poor harper
That has come hither to wed with thee.”
Peter S. Beagle’s ‘None But The Harper’
Usually whoever of us is writing the weekly edition up would give you a song or tune as the coda to the edition. And so it is this week but we’ve got a treat for you that’s just a bit different — Peter S. Beagle, author and composer and musician, singing ‘None But The Harper’ which he wrote about the same time as The Last Unicorn which would be in the late Sixties! When it was recorded is not at all clear but his voice and playing is quite superb, so let’s listen to ‘None But The Harper’.
Just a reminder to people that Peter’s only social media link to fans is his Facebook page, The Real Peter S. Beagle – accept no substitutes! He has no access or connection to any other FB pages, websites save this one, or Twitter accounts, all run by his former business manager.
This is a page moderated by friends, who are in contact with Peter, and keep him apprised of comments, and is being used to let fans know about Peter’s books, stories, and author appearances. Like us on Facebook @TheRealPeterSBeagle.
Tachyon Publishing sent along an email about the next novel from Peter which comes out in Modwinter when, if you’re like me, you’ll be craving something rather good to read!
ISBN: 978-1-61696-248-7 Published: February 2017 Available Format(s): Hardcover ($19.95) and Digital Books ($9.99)
From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn and Summerlong comes a new, exquisitely-told fable for the modern age.
Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry to the company of others. But one chilly morning, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.
Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors.
Our post is rather special this time as it’s Peter on his favorite song or tune:
I know way too many folk songs to have a special favorite, Cat. Besides, I’m not always sure what counts as a folk song. Big Bill Broonzy used to say, ‘I guess all songs is folk songs – I never heard no horse sing one.’ When Merle Travis was asked to write an album’s worth of folk songs and explained to the producer that you don’t write folk songs – they just sort of spring up, like grass – the producer replied, ‘Well, then write some stuff that sounds like folk songs.” Travis came up with, among others, ‘Sixteen Tons’ and ‘Dark As A Dungeon,’ which any number of people still present as a folk song. And Aristide Bruant (Toulouse-Lautrec’s buddy, the guy in the black hat and red scarf) wrote ‘Sur La Route De Louviers’ – I don’t know how many times I heard that as a folk song in Berkeley, in the old days…’
I do love the haunting old French song ”A La Claire Fontaine,’ and my friend Phil and I still love to sing ‘The Miller of Dee’ when we get together. But if I had to pick just one, it might be a strange, utterly surrealistic tune called ‘Nottymun Town’ that I picked up from Jean Ritchie. I’m teaching it, on the rare occasions we’re able to jam together, to the guys of Emerald Rose, a great Celtic band, who could do it justice.
And then there’s wonderful ‘Tumbalalaika’ in Yiddish, and ‘La Llorona’ in Spanish…But in the end, my favorite song of all is still ‘Au Bois De Mon Coeur,’ which is not a folk song, but was written by Georges Brassens – so there you are. Go figure…