News

Gollancz opens sci-fi Gateway to e-books

Thousands of out of print science-fiction titles will be available digitally, after Gollancz launched the world's largest science-fiction and fantasy library, the SF Gateway.

The gateway will launch in September with more than 1,000 titles available by almost 100 authors. Launch authors include the likes of Marion Zimmer Bradley, Philip K Dick, Frank Herbert and Arthur C Clarke. Gollancz will build the list to 3,000 titles by the end of 2012 and 5,000 or more by 2014. The books will be available through all major e-retailers but pricing has yet to be determined.

Gollancz digital publisher Darren Nash, who will be in charge of the project, said: "The Masterworks series has been extraordinarily successful in republishing one or two key titles by a wide range of authors, but most of those authors had long careers in which they wrote dozens of novels which had fallen out of print. It seemed to us that e-books would offer the ideal way to make them available again. This realisation was the starting point for the SF Gateway."

The gateway will be integrated with the online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which Gollancz announced earlier this month. There will be direct links from the encyclopedia to the gateway site. The gateway site will also feature forums, blogs and promotions.

Orion deputy c.e.o. and publisher Malcolm Edwards, who conceived the project, said: "It’s clear that publishers need to show that they can respond to the challenges and opportunities of the digital revolution imaginatively, particularly when it comes to backlist. The SF Gateway is just such a response, creating what we hope will become a destination website which will promote the books and authors it features in an active way.  We hope it will not only be a success in its own right, but that it will provide a model for future developments in backlist publishing.”

Gollancz said it was in advanced negotiations with authors about future titles. The gateway is part of the 50th anniversary of Gollancz's science fiction list.

Double Arthur C Clarke award-wnner Pat Cadigan said: "This is exactly what I've been hoping for now that the digital book is becoming more widespread. I have always said that the e-book will not be the death of the physical book—the e-book will save so many wonderful books from being lost.

"We have to remember that what we read is the book—what we read it on, whether ink and paper or pixels on a screen, is just the interface. I'm honestly thrilled about this new project and delighted to be on the list.”

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Great idea! So many good books out of print awaiting a new life.

This is terrific news -- my collection of SF & fantasy goes back 40+ years, but there are still titles that I've never managed to find a copy of. I hope they will include individual short stories at a cheaper rate than full novels, so that readers can browse the works of one author or investigate the Galaxy and other award winners.

The masterworks series has always done well for us at work, so this really pleases me. Gollancz do seem to have made a good digital realm to play in here, and although I'm still far from wanting a reader as such, I will be very interested what hidden gems re-surface because of this. Be good to see some old classics like Moorcock's "Nomad of the time streams", especially what with the popularity of anything steam punk related....hint hint gollancz, or what ever publisher holds the rights. Best of luck to them I say.

Yes, this is very exciting. Although I love my old, naff-covered, yellowed, American editions of these sorts of things, I am sure I will end up reading many more with this available. Well done Gollancz!

Not sure this is great news, but it is something that the big publishers will be doing more and more as they engage with the digital marketplace. It will swamp the work of upcoming writers fairly comprehensively. Expect similar back catalogue dumps from other publishers to try and eradicate the upstart 99p bestsellers of the future.

3 cheers for Gollancz. I agree with Scotia that there is a potential threat to new writers, but so long as we are talking about SF-F, a small 1. SF has evolved quite a bit since the Golden Age & the expectations of contemporary readers will not be fulfilled by a steady diet of "the classics". And we are, arguably, living in the "golden age" of fantasy.

I can only hope that these e-books can be purchased in the United States. I'm annoyed that I can buy a physical book from Amazon/UK but cannot buy a book for my Kindle from them. I realize that this has everything to do with a number of legal and contractural issues and that in the short run it would probably cost publishers a lot of money to change this. But in the long run the profits would be there.

Great idea! So many good books out of print awaiting a new life.

This is terrific news -- my collection of SF & fantasy goes back 40+ years, but there are still titles that I've never managed to find a copy of. I hope they will include individual short stories at a cheaper rate than full novels, so that readers can browse the works of one author or investigate the Galaxy and other award winners.

The masterworks series has always done well for us at work, so this really pleases me. Gollancz do seem to have made a good digital realm to play in here, and although I'm still far from wanting a reader as such, I will be very interested what hidden gems re-surface because of this. Be good to see some old classics like Moorcock's "Nomad of the time streams", especially what with the popularity of anything steam punk related....hint hint gollancz, or what ever publisher holds the rights. Best of luck to them I say.

Yes, this is very exciting. Although I love my old, naff-covered, yellowed, American editions of these sorts of things, I am sure I will end up reading many more with this available. Well done Gollancz!

Not sure this is great news, but it is something that the big publishers will be doing more and more as they engage with the digital marketplace. It will swamp the work of upcoming writers fairly comprehensively. Expect similar back catalogue dumps from other publishers to try and eradicate the upstart 99p bestsellers of the future.

3 cheers for Gollancz. I agree with Scotia that there is a potential threat to new writers, but so long as we are talking about SF-F, a small 1. SF has evolved quite a bit since the Golden Age & the expectations of contemporary readers will not be fulfilled by a steady diet of "the classics". And we are, arguably, living in the "golden age" of fantasy.

I can only hope that these e-books can be purchased in the United States. I'm annoyed that I can buy a physical book from Amazon/UK but cannot buy a book for my Kindle from them. I realize that this has everything to do with a number of legal and contractural issues and that in the short run it would probably cost publishers a lot of money to change this. But in the long run the profits would be there.