Tor.com Publishing celebrates its first birthday today, and we couldn’t have asked for a better year of incredible books, amazing authors, and vocal support from readers and reviewers. We’ve published thirty-two titles, won a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award, and brought you new stories from acclaimed writers like Paul Cornell, Victor LaValle, and Seanan McGuire, as well as terrifically talented debut authors like Kai Ashante Wilson and Malka Older.
Here’s a look at what we’ve done in our first year of publishing, and a glimpse at what we have coming up next!
Our mission in launching Tor.com Publishing was to carve out a space for authors to tell the stories they wanted at exactly the right length. We’ve been publishing free award-winning fiction on Tor.com since 2008, and realized there was an audience of readers who longed for substantial stories they could consume in a few days or even a few hours, and a collection of writers who had ideas for narratives that didn’t fit neatly into the category of short story or novel. Expanding our short fiction program with the Tor.com Publishing imprint allowed us to publish novellas and short novels globally in both ebook and print and make our books available for purchase online and in bookstores. Our authors have used this flexible format to tell serialized stories, focus on fascinating characters and settings that don’t always get the spotlight, and create fully realized microcosms of horror, science fiction, and epic fantasy over the last twelve months.
We’ve had a remarkable year in terms of the recognition given to our books and authors by the science fiction and fantasy community. The first title in our line, The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson, earned the Crawford Award and made multiple best of the year lists, along with many of our other fall releases. Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti, also from our first month of publishing, earned both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella. Angela Slatter’s Of Sorrow and Such won the Ditmar Award for Best Novella or Novelette, and several of our other titles earned Hugo, British Fantasy Award, and BSFA nominations.
Our books earned praise from The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Washington Post, People, Slate, The Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed, and garnered multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus. Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom, was invited to discuss his subversive Lovecraftian novella on Fresh Air, and Nnedi Okorafor visited All Things Considered to talk about Binti on the very day it won the Hugo Award. Throughout these high-profile reviews and appearances, we heard and appreciated the support for our books we received from fans, booksellers, librarians, and the many others who expressed their excitement over our new releases and acquisitions.
We published two titles in partnership with Tor Books, bringing out the books in hardcover and distributing them through a traditional publishing model. In April, Seanan McGuire opened portals to new worlds with Every Heart a Doorway, a fan favorite and a book that felt like it was an essential part of the fantasy canon that had been missing until now. As Jason Heller of NPR put it: “McGuire has created her own mini-masterpiece of portal fantasy—a jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll’s and C. S. Lewis’ classics, even as it carves its own precocious space between them.” In June, our first novel, Infomocracy by humanitarian worker and debut novelist Malka Older, took on future electoral politics, and was recognized by NPR, The New York Times Book Review, and Ars Technica as a smart, refreshing take on what a post-cyberpunk political thriller could be.
This fall, we’re publishing stories from incredible writers like Marie Brennan, Brian Evenson, and Laurie Penny, and continuing to publish stories in the worlds created by Kai Ashante Wilson (A Taste of Honey), Andy Remic (The Iron Beast), and Paul Cornell (The Lost Child of Lychford). And our list keeps growing: we’re planning to bring you new books and series from Charles Stross, Elizabeth Hand, Caitlín Kiernan, Myke Cole, Max Gladstone, Ellen Klages, Ian McDonald, Stephen Graham Jones, Emma Newman, Adam Christopher, JY Yang, Cassandra Khaw, Sarah Gailey, and so many more over the next year.
2017 also brings the publication of Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys, the start of a series based on the beloved Tor.com short story “The Litany of Earth.” Seanan McGuire continues the Wayward Children series with Down Among the Sticks and Bones, which takes us to the dark otherworld of Jack and Jill, and Malka Older expands on her vision of our complex political future in Null States. Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti gets a sequel with Binti: Home, coming in January, and we’ll continue our series from Marie Brennan, Matt Wallace, and Paul Cornell.
We want to thank our editor Lee Harris and assistant editor Carl Engle-Laird, who, with the support of acquiring editors Ann VanderMeer, Ellen Datlow, Miriam Weinberg, Jennifer Gunnels, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Justin Landon, and Jonathan Strahan, continue to bring us a full list of quality titles. Thank you as well to our art director Christine Foltzer and the artists and designers she works with to create our award-winning covers. Thanks to our marketing and publicity team, Katharine Duckett and Mordicai Knode, for spreading the word about our books and working with our authors. Without our production team, Jim Kapp, Lauren Hougen, and Karl Gold, our books would never get made, so a huge thank-you to them for all their hard work (and patience!). Thank you to Tom Doherty and all the folks at Tor Books for their support and guidance, to the Tor.com blog team for promoting our titles, and to all of our readers and fans. Led by our publisher Fritz Foy and associate publisher Irene Gallo, we plan to keep publishing stories you’ll love for many years to come.
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