His agency has provided a formal obituary, which reads in part: “Ralph M. Vicinanza, literary agent, died suddenly at his home on Saturday, September 25, 2010. For over two decades, Vicinanza achieved worldwide recognition for his vision in opening the international marketplace for American authors, predominantly in the science fiction and fantasy genres. By discovering previously untapped markets for his clients’ work, Vicinanza carved out a large literary territory and dominated the field of foreign rights.
“Vicinanza began his publishing career at the Scott Meredith Agency. It was there that three important things about the industry’s international scene became clear to him: book royalties in foreign countries were highly undervalued, the overseas markets were extremely literate, and writers and books were very important in these cultures. By taking ‘worthless’ international rights and targeting the markets carefully, he parlayed them into an overseas obsession with American literature in general and science fiction in particular. Working with authors including Norman Mailer, Carl Sagan and Philip K. Dick, Vicinanza became knows as ‘Mr. Foreign Rights.'”
“He opened his agency, Ralph M. Vicinanza, becoming co-international representative for Stephen King and working with such authors as Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and George R.R. Martin (and later Terry Pratchett, Kim Stanley Robinson, and many more). In 1998 Vicinanza expanded by forming Created By, an L.A.-based production/management company that works primarily with science fiction.”
The AP also has an obituary out, now.