Who says that science fiction publishing is dead? Not Orbit Books. The Hachette company announced yesterday that they were expanding their SF/F line by 50% next year to publish a whopping 90 books starting in 2016.
Tim Holman, Orbit Publisher and Hachette Book Group SVP, said: “There is a huge and diverse audience for SF and Fantasy out there, and it’s the perfect time to be expanding the list. Orbit is currently the fastest growing SF and Fantasy imprint in the U.S. with an increasing number of New York Times bestsellers – most recently Ann Leckie, whose debut ANCILLARY JUSTICE was also the first novel to win every major SF award. Since our launch in 2008, we have been committed to publishing the most exciting authors in the field and looking for creative ways to connect with new readers. We’re very much looking forward to building on the success we’ve had, expanding the publishing team, and welcoming more authors to the list.”
The publisher has been doing really well: a television series based on James S.A. Corey’s Expanse novels is about to land, while the publisher has put out excellent novels from the likes of Ann Leckie, Kim Stanley Robinson, Daniel Abraham, Gail Carriger, Brian McClellan, N.K. Jemisin and others.
Over on the Barnes and Noble SciFi & Fantasy blog, editor Joel Cunningham has gone as far as to say that right now we’re living in a new golden age of SF literature:
Nothing proves belief in a market like investment, and across the board, publishers are investing in SF/F. Just this year, we’ve welcomed to the fold Saga Press, the dedicated genre imprint from Simon & Schuster that has developed a roster of launch titles unparalleled in the industry (the debut novel from award-winning short story author Ken Liu, anyone?).
He goes on to list Tor.com’s successes, as well as a new imprint from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as proof of this.
The vast expansion of a line doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all roses and rainbows for the SF/F publishing world: just that Hachette is confident in their plans to put forth the investment. However it works out, it will be interesting to see what books they bring to market in the coming years.