Peter Beagle supports the mission to expose and fix bad business practices by Connor Cochran. Connor is facing litigation in relation to this site – never trust info about it sourced from him.
A positive step for cheated customers
Months after announcing bankruptcy, Conlan Press has shuttered its web store. Only a plain contact page remains at the home page. This pauses a longstanding worry about innocent people falling into problems surrounding its sole proprietor Connor Cochran. Warning customers has been a steadfast purpose for Fans Against Fraud since 2014. The risk may be less now, but countless people still have no resolution about how Connor treated them for many years.
Up to 2018, “pre sales” were still being offered for titles announced as long ago as 2005, but never produced. While buyers experienced an ever growing list of broken promises, Connor made a series of high profile success claims, from promoting business expansion to Publishers Weekly, to securing a $500,000 settlement in Peter Beagle’s name for The Last Unicorn film rights. (The mystery of where the money went is part of Peter’s lawsuit against Cochran). There was an international movie tour, and a planned $5 million budget for projects that never materialized. Connor even boasted that investors were lining up to provide $15 million for a musical, and $125 million for a live action movie remake.
It all must have been incredible bait to secure cooperation from Peter’s family, and pressure Peter into compliance. It worked to secure $300,000 from movie tour investors (who are also suing to figure out where their money went.) Their recent court docs say that they paid Connor based on his claims to have permission to proceed with development projects and remastering The Last Unicorn movie, but he didn’t. According to an interview where he said “I kind of cheated“, he may not have had permission to start The Last Unicorn Tour in the first place.
Back to the small buyers, an issue of particular concern was sale of digital titles by Peter Beagle at Amazon, a venue with even less transparency about proceeds going to Connor. At least a dozen of those titles are now unavailable in search at Amazon, and no Conlan Press goods appear there at this time. (Be confident in buying titles offered by Tachyon, Peter’s current publisher.)
Some of those digital titles even attached Connor’s name with Peter’s in the author line. Connor’s claims of authorship of Peter’s works appeared to be a hopeless attempt to stall his lawsuit, among other tactical retaliation:
- The lost lawsuit against Peter’s lawyer for representing him.
- The failed attempt to seize conservatorship using Peter’s family.
- The lost countersuit against Peter himself.
See the sidebar of this site for much more about the failure of these tactics. The truth is winning but the damage is severe.
The lawsuits keep coming
File770 is a Hugo Award winning science fiction news site that has long covered news about Connor and Peter. Their reports drew comments by old friends of Connor, who describe his tactics:
“Connor is one of my oldest friends in fandom. Yet, I’ve been told too many stories in recent years from different people who have done business with him that have the same pattern: he promises, doesn’t deliver, and they get screwed over.”
“he’s been sinking into that tarbaby for a long time — flailing more and more wildly as he does so… instead of just scraping bits of money from lots of people, he’s seriously hurt one of the genre’s most beloved figures.”
The comments appear on File770’s news about a lawsuit by Patrick Lake against Connor for defamation, for claiming that a contract between them was “forged.” (The defamation appeared in an unreliable post at Bleeding Cool in 2014). Previously, Lake was mentioned here in a request for info from fans about behavior by Connor and Conlan Press. Here’s Peter Beagle’s statement of support for Lake.
A 2014 statement about Fans Against Fraud, supposedly written by Peter, was posted by an account maintained by Connor Cochran and his staff. The social media staffer from that time later posted an open letter about being misled.
Connor is now using at least his fifth attorney in this legal battle. Previous representatives for his dispute with Lake included Rob Liskey, Richard Mooney, Robert Kane, and the firm Broderick and Saleen (who dropped him in 2015). James R. Thompson also appears on the list of outstanding creditors in his bankruptcy. (Apart from real lawyers, there’s also Connor’s long-time behind-the-scenes partner in deceptive business practices, disbarred lawyer Charles Petit.) After being dropped as a client by others, Connor is currently left with representation by a personal friend, who told a bankruptcy court that he’s helping without pay.
After cheating so many people for so long, what does Connor have to say for himself?
Connor’s defense pages went silent after the bankruptcy in January. Except he couldn’t resist a stab at Peter this week, when his TLU Facebook page left a comment to a fan that licensing payments intended for Peter “terminated this year because of Peter’s own actions”. (The actions included seeking accounting for money that Connor refused to give.)