Gollancz’s Malcolm Edwards

News was recently released to the book trade concerning upcoming changes to Gollancz. From the official press release:


David Young, CEO of The Orion Publishing Group announces today that Malcolm Edwards will be standing down as Deputy CEO and Publisher of Orion at the end of 2015 and will become Chairman of Gollancz and Consultant Publisher at Orion.

David Young says: ”Malcolm and I have been discussing for some time his desire to work a flexible week which will give him the freedom to work on fewer projects close to his heart and so, at the end of this year, he will move to become Chairman of Gollancz and Consultant Publisher at Orion.  I am delighted that we have been able to accommodate Malcolm’s wishes in a way that ensures that he remains at the heart of Orion’s publishing. 

“Malcolm is a remarkable publisher.  He is a formidable judge of publishing talent: during his career at Orion and HarperCollins he has worked with many bestselling writers including Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Anthony Horowitz, Ursula Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, and Kate Mosse, and has had particularly strong and long-lasting relationships with such writers as J.G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick and Alan Furst.  He has been a generous guide and mentor to many of the brightest editors and publishers in the industry.  We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his enormous contribution to Orion so far and in the years to come.”

Malcolm’s publishing career began at Gollancz in the 1970s. Having worked in a freelance capacity for three years, he became their general in-house editor in 1976, working across the entire range of their adult list.  He was appointed their sf editor in 1982, and quickly rose to Publishing Director and member of the board.  Among the writers he edited were Arthur C. Clarke, William Gibson, Frank Herbert and Terry Pratchett. In 1989, he left to work at HarperCollins, where he became Deputy Managing Director of their Trade Division.  Among many other titles he was the editor for both Michael Dobbs’s House of Cards series and George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, and he conceived the idea of reviving serial publishing which led to Stephen King’s The Green Mile.  He was named Editor of the Year at the 1995 British Book Awards.

He moved to Orion in 1998 to the newly created position of Managing Director and, in 2003, becoming Deputy Chief Executive and Publisher. Since then, Malcolm has had ultimate responsibility for all publishing and creative activities across the Orion Group. The digital initiatives – The Murder Room and The SF Gateway – are his brainchild.

Malcolm says:  “It’s particularly difficult to find a way of stepping off the management roundabout, and I’m grateful to David and Tim for devising an elegant formula which allows me to stay involved with those parts of publishing I still love, while stepping aside to allow some of my very talented colleagues to take on further responsibilities.”

Tim Hely Hutchinson says:” As Publisher and Deputy CEO, Malcolm is central to much of Orion’s success and I know I speak for his colleagues and for Orion’s authors when I say how pleased we are that this new arrangement ensures that he continues in a pivotal role at Orion while focusing, once again, on the house where he began his career.  Gollancz, already the pre-eminent list in sf publishing, is destined for even greater things under Malcolm’s Chairmanship. The SF Gateway and the Gollancz Festival (in its second year) are just recent two initiatives that embellish its reputation.  I often turn to Malcolm for his wise advice on a wide variety of subjects and I want to thank him warmly for his enormous contribution to Orion, to Hachette UK and for his ongoing commitment to the company.”

We’re sure you’ll join with us in congratulating Malcolm on extricating himself from all of those meetings!  But what does this mean for Gollancz and for the SF Gateway?  The answer is, we’re happy to say: a win!

While we’ll all miss Malcolm’s presence as Deputy CEO on a day-to-day basis, the fact that he’s going to be devoting more of his formidable publishing brain to Gollancz is an enormous benefit to us. He is, after all, the man who published Neuromancer and Mythago Wood within a few months of each other; who was a founder of Interzone; who published Terry Pratchett before he was … well, TERRY PRATCHETT; who has spent decades working with the finest authors and most influential agents in the publishing world; and who – for those looking for more recent achievements – conceived the SF Gateway project and acquired George R. R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series for HarperVoyager.

And if that still doesn’t convey just how remarkable an influence Malcolm has had on SF publishing in general and Gollancz in particular, just pop over to his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and see for yourself!