(Some) Big Moments From 5 Years of Tordotcom Publishing

For the fifth anniversary of Tordotcom Publishing, we’re celebrating by taking a look back at some of the many highlights from the past five years. The timeline below is just a taste of the many authors and books that we’ve been honored to work with, and it’s also a joyful reminder of the countless readers, editors, artists, designers, and many others who work behind the scenes to bring each of our books to life.

Our mission in launching Tordotcom 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 the Tordotcom Publishing imprint was born in the fall of 2015, allowing us to publish novellas and novels in both ebook and print. Our authors have used this flexible format in astonishing ways, and they continue to impress us every year with their inventive, unique stories.

It would be impossible for us to list all of our favorite moments and favorite books, but we hope you’ll share your own in the comments!



September 1

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson — In 2015, Tor.com Publishing’s first ever book, this powerful story of gods and mortals, was published. It won the Crawford Award, was a Locus Award finalist, and made multiple best of the year lists. (And you can download it for free this week!)


September 22

author Nnedi Okorafor at the Brooklyn Museum of Art

Nnedi Okorafor at the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s book club (with N.K. Jemisin and Ibi Zoboi and with audio and visuals by performing arts collective BKLYN ZULU, 2016)

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor — Nnedi Okorafor’s debut novella took the world by storm and she hasn’t stopped since. For Binti, Nnedi Okorafor won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella.



February 16

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle — Victor LaValle’s subversion of Chthulian horror becomes a runaway success, becoming one of NPR’s Best Books of 2016, a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, the British Fantasy Award, the This is Horror Award for Novella of the Year, and a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards.


April 15

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — When is a door not a door? When it’s a gateway to adventure! In 2017, legions of fans fell in love with the Wayward Children series, and this first novella won Seanan McGuire a Hugo, Locus, Nebula, and Alex award.


June 7

Malka Older and Daniel Jose Older at Greenlight Bookstore

Malka Older at Greenlight Bookstore for the launch event for Infomocracy, in conversation with Daniel Jose Older (Brooklyn 2016)

Tordotcom Publishes Its First Novel, Infomocracy by Malka Older — Malka Older’s debut was Tor.com Publishing’s first novel, and the first book in the groundbreaking cyberpunk political thriller series The Centenal Cycle, a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Series. The Huffington Post called this book “one of the greatest literary debuts in recent history.”



May 2

Martha Wells at the 2019 Hugo Awards

Martha Wells wins a Hugo for Artificial Condition (Dublin 2019)

MURDERBOT! All Systems Red by Martha Wells All Systems Red launched Martha Wells’ wildly successful and bestselling series, The Murderbot Diaries, with three sequels following in 2018. This first novella won four awards: a Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award. And since then we’ve been living with a robot who is deeply, deeply reflective of ourselves. We’re all a little bit Murderbot!


May 23

Sarah Gailey at Word Bookstore

Sarah Gailey at the launch event for American Hippo at Word Bookstore, in conversation with Max Gladstone (Brooklyn 2017)

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey — The hippos are coming! Gailey’s wildfire of a debut–chronicling an American history that almost was–was a finalist for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.


September 26

A Double Novella Arrives: The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Neon Yang — These novellas formed a pair of unique, standalone introductions to JY Yang’s remarkable and award-winning Tensorate Series, which were finalists for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novella, among others. Which one comes first? It’s up to you!


October 17

Tordotcom Publishing’s first short fiction collection: Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders — This was Tor.com’s first ever collection of short fiction, pulling together six of Charlie Jane Anders’ acclaimed stories.



June 19

C.L. Polk at the World Fantasy Awards in 2019

C. L. Polk winning the World Fantasy award for Witchmark. (Los Angeles 2019)

Witchmark by C.L. Polk — C.L. Polk’s thoroughly charming series, The Kingston Cycle, kicked off with Witchmark, which won the 2019 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and was a finalist for the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and the Lammy Award.


July 17

Happy Birthday To Us! Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best From Tor.com Non-Fiction, edited by Bridget McGovern and Chris Lough — The Tor.com website turned 10 years old on July 20, and to celebrate, it released a tirelessly curated collection of some of the best non-fiction feature articles from Tor.com’s 10 year history as an online sci-fi/fantasy literature magazine. It’s still free to download, at your leisure!


August 21

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark — Winner of the 2019 Alex Award and a Nebula Award Finalist for Best Novella, The Black God’s Drums proved that Clark is a force to be reckoned with.


September 4

Worlds Seen in Passing, edited by Irene Gallo — For the Tor.com website’s 10th anniversary, we published this anthology of award-winning, eye-opening, genre-defining science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories, containing nearly every piece of short fiction published on the Tor.com website. It was a winner of the World Fantasy Award.



June 18

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh — Emily Tesh’s gorgeous first novella in the Greenhollow Duology made us all fall in love with the woods, and with Henry & Tobias. Silver in the Wood is a 2020 World Fantasy Award Finalist, and Emily Tesh was an Astounding Award and Crawford Award Finalist.


May 7, 2019

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire — This thrilling and emotional standalone fantasy from Seanan McGuire was an instant hit: it won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, was a Hugo Award finalist, a USA Today bestseller, and was named as one of Paste Magazine’s 30 Best Fantasy Novels of the Decade.


September 10

Tamsyn Muir at BookExpo in 2019

Tamsyn Muir at BookExpo, signing galleys of Gideon the Ninth (New York 2019)

A wild lesbian necromancers appeared! Action? Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir — This astonishing debut from the wickedly talented Tamsyn Muir shook us all to our bones. Our favorite lesbian necromancers in space became a bestseller, and it was a winner of the 2020 Locus Award and Crawford Award, and finalist for the 2020 Hugo, Nebula, Dragon, and World Fantasy Awards.



January 21

Tochi Onyebuchi and Marlon James at The Strand

Tochi Onyebuchi in conversation with Marlon James at The Strand’s launch event for Riot Baby (New York 2020)

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi — Tochi Onyebuchi’s adult debut about Ella and her brother Kev was highly anticipated and highly acclaimed. This searing story of love, fury, and the black American experience set Tochi Onyebuchi apart as an immensely talented writer to watch. Tochi made USA Today’s 100 Black Novelists You Should Be Reading list, and Riot Baby is a finalist for the New England Book Award.


Summer 2020

Two New York Times bestsellers: Network Effect by Martha Wells (the first full-length novel in the Murderbot Diaries series) and Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (the second novel in The Locked Tomb trilogy) both came out this summer to high praise across the board and were instant New York Times bestsellers.


2020 isn’t over yet, and we’re looking forward to what the rest of the year has to offer—future months (and years) will bring new books by authors like Nghi Vo, P. Djèlí Clark, Nnedi Okorafor, Becky Chambers, Alix Harrow, and so many other incredible writers.

Here’s to many more years of exploring uncharted worlds!

The Tor.com and Tordotcom Publishing teams, outside the iconic Flatiron building

The Tor.com and Tordotcom Publishing teams, outside the iconic Flatiron building before moving to the new office (2019)


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