Malcolm Edwards is to leave the roles of deputy c.e.o. and publisher of Orion at the end of this year.
Edwards, 65, will become chairman of Gollancz, where he started his publishing career in the 1970s, and consultant publisher at Orion.
Orion c.e.o. David Young said he had been talking to Edwards for “some time” about the latter’s “desire to work a flexible week which will give him the freedom to work on fewer projects close to his heart”.
“Malcolm is a remarkable publisher,” said Young. “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.”
Edwards worked for Gollancz in a freelance capacity for three years in the 1970s, before becoming general in-house editor in 1976. He was appointed Gollancz’s science fiction editor in 1982, going on to become publishing director and a member of the board.
In 1989, Edwards moved to HarperCollins, where he became deputy m.d. of the trade division. While there he was the editor for titles including George R R Martin’s A Game of Thrones. In 1998 Edwards moved to Orion in the newly created position of m.d., and in 2003 he became deputy chief executive and publisher.
Edwards said: “It’s particularly difficult to find a way of stepping off the management roundabout, and I’m grateful to David and Tim [Hely Hutchinson] 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, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, said: “As publisher and deputy c.e.o., 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 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.”
No details have yet been released about Edwards’ replacement or the future of his roles as deputy c.e.o. and publisher.