'Publishing legend' Edwards steps down from Orion and Gollancz roles

'Publishing legend' Edwards steps down from Orion and Gollancz roles

Orion consultant publisher and Gollancz chair Malcolm Edwards is stepping down from his roles after first joining the SFF imprint 43 years ago.

Hachette UK c.e.o. David Shelley said Edwards, who will work his last day at Orion on 31st May, is a “true publishing legend”.

Edwards said: “I feel privileged to have worked with so many great authors, editors and other colleagues across all the imprints at Orion. I can’t omit mentioning what an honour it was to work for more than 15 years alongside George Weidenfeld. In the last three years I’ve greatly enjoyed being part of the Gollancz team, brilliantly led by Gillian Redfearn; and I’d particularly like to thank Arnaud Nourry and Tim Hely-Hutchinson for their years of support.  I’m sure Orion under its new management team is destined to march on to even greater success in years to come.”

Edwards started his publishing career as a sci fi editor at Gollancz in 1976, quickly rising up the ranks to become publishing director. He established a stellar list of authors including Brian Aldiss, Octavia Butler, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Ursula Le Guin and Terry Pratchett. One landmark month in 1984 saw him publish J.G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun, William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood.

He went on to join HarperCollins in 1989, becoming fiction publishing director and editing Stephen Baxter, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, David Eddings, Alan Furst, James Herbert and Peter Straub.  He edited and published both Michael Dobbs’s House of Cards novels and George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, going on to release Stephen King’s The Green Mile in serial paperback parts.

Edwards moved to Orion in 1998 as manging director of Orion Books before promotion to deputy c.e.o. and publisher in 2003. He worked with another array of big name writers from novelists Kate Mosse, Ian Rankin and Carlos Ruiz Zafón to the Hairy Bikers, Michael Palin and Malala Yousafzai.

After noticing many classic novels were being allowed to go out of print, in 1999 he established the SF Masterworks list. It now features over 150 books. In 2011 he established one of the first major digital libraries, the SF Gateway, which now contains almost 3,000 titles.  In 2015 it was announced he would leave his roles to become chairman of Gollancz and consultant publisher, allowing him to work on “fewer projects closer to his heart”.

Shelley said: “Malcolm is one of the most well-read and knowledgeable people in publishing – a true publishing legend - and his influence in science fiction and fantasy in particular cannot be overstated. His impact on Orion over the past 21 years has been immense and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for the work he has done here and wish him the best for the next chapter of his life.”

Arnaud Nourry, c.e.o of Hachette Livre, added: “Malcolm Edwards has made a big contribution to Hachette UK in his time here. I have valued his publishing wisdom highly and on behalf of Hachette Livre I would like to thank him for all he has brought to the company over the years.”

A celebration of his career in publishing will be held, with the date and venue to be announced.