Tor Books

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Tor Books
Tor Books 2016.svg
The 2016 logo
Parent company Macmillan
FoundedApril 2, 1980;41 years ago (1980-04-02)
Founder Tom Doherty
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Equitable Building, New York City
Distribution Macmillan (US)
Melia Publishing Services (UK) [1]
Key people Tom Doherty
Publication types Books, E-books
Imprints Forge, Starscape, Tor Teen, Orb,
Official website

Tor Books is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a publishing company based in New York City. It primarily publishes science fiction and fantasy titles.



Tor was founded by Tom Doherty, Harriet McDougal, and Jim Baen in 1980. They were soon joined by Barbara Doherty and Katherine Pendill, who then comprised the original startup team.

Tor is a word from Old English meaning "the peak of a rocky hill or mountain", [2] as depicted in Tor's logo. [3] Tor Books was sold to St. Martin's Press in 1987. Along with St. Martin's Press; Henry Holt; and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, it became part of the Holtzbrinck group, now part of Macmillan in the US. [4] In June 2019, Tor and other Macmillan imprints moved from the Flatiron Building, to larger offices in the Equitable Building. [5] [6]


Tor is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates. [7] There is also the Forge imprint that publishes an array of fictional titles, including historical novels and thrillers. Tor Books also publishes two imprints for young readers: Starscape (for readers 10 years of age and up) and Tor Teen (for readers 13 years of age and up). [8] Tor Books also has the imprint that focuses on short works such as novellas, shorter novels and serializations. [9]

A United Kingdom sister imprint, Tor UK, also exists and specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, while also publishing young-adult crossover fiction based on computer-game franchises. [7] Tor UK briefly maintained an open submission policy, which ended in January 2013. [10]

Orb Books publishes science-fiction classics such as A.E. Van Vogt's Slan .

Tor Teen publishes young-adult novels such as Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and repackages novels such as Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game for younger readers.

Tor Labs produces podcasts. [11]

A German sister imprint, Fischer Tor, was founded in August 2016 as an imprint of S. Fischer Verlag (which also belongs to Holtzbrinck Publishing Group). [12] It publishes international titles translated into German, as well as original German works. Fischer Tor also publishes the German online magazine Tor Online, which is based on the same concept as the English online magazine, but has its own independent content. [12]


The logo used until 2015 Tor-Logo1.jpg
The logo used until 2015

Authors published by Tor and Forge include Kevin J. Anderson, Steven Brust, Orson Scott Card, Jonathan Carroll, Myke Cole, Charles de Lint, Philip K. Dick, Cory Doctorow, Steven Erikson, Sarah Gailey, Terry Goodkind, Steven Gould, Eileen Gunn, James Gunn, Brian Herbert, Glen Hirshberg, Robert Jordan, Richard Matheson, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Andre Norton, Harold Robbins, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, V. E. Schwab, Skyler White, and Gene Wolfe. [8]

Tor UK has published authors such as Douglas Adams, Rjurik Davidson, Amanda Hocking, China Miéville, Adam Nevill, and Adrian Tchaikovsky. [7]


Tor publishes a range of its works as e-books and, in 2012, Doherty announced that his imprints would sell only DRM-free e-books by July of that year. [13] One year later, Tor stated that the removal of DRM had not harmed its e-book business, so they would continue selling them DRM-free. [14]

In July 2018, Macmillan Publishers and Tor prompted a boycott spread across social media websites and library bulletin boards after they announced that Tor's e-books would no longer be made available for libraries to purchase and lend to borrowers, via digital distribution services such as OverDrive, until four months after their initial publication date. [15] The company cited the "direct and adverse impact" of electronic lending on retail eBook sales, but suggested that the change was part of a "test program" and could be reevaluated. [15] [16]


Tor won the Locus Magazine poll for best science fiction publisher in 33 consecutive years from 1988 to 2020 inclusive. [17]

In March 2014, Worlds Without End listed Tor as the second-most awarded and nominated publisher of science fiction, fantasy and horror books, after Gollancz. [18] At that time, Tor had received 316 nominations and 54 wins for 723 published novels, written by 197 authors. [18] In the following year, Tor surpassed Gollancz to become the top publisher on the list. [19]

By March 2018, Tor's record had increased to 579 nominations and 111 wins, across 16 tracked awards given in the covered genres, with a total of 2,353 published novels written by 576 authors. [20]

Related Research Articles

Holtzbrinck Publishing Group is a privately-held German company based in Stuttgart which owns publishing companies worldwide. Through Macmillan Publishers, it is one of the Big Five English-language publishing companies.

Ace Books American specialty publisher of science fiction and fantasy books

Ace Books is a publisher of science fiction and fantasy books founded in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn. It began as a genre publisher of mysteries and westerns, and soon branched out into other genres, publishing its first science fiction (SF) title in 1953. This was successful, and science fiction titles outnumbered both mysteries and westerns within a few years. Other genres also made an appearance, including nonfiction, gothic novels, media tie-in novelizations, and romances. Ace became known for the tête-bêche binding format used for many of its early books, although it did not originate the format. Most of the early titles were published in this "Ace Double" format, and Ace continued to issue books in varied genres, bound tête-bêche, until 1973.

Macmillan Publishers Ltd is a British publishing company traditionally considered to be one of the 'Big Five' English language publishers. Founded in London in 1843 by Daniel and Alexander MacMillan, since 1999 it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group with offices in 41 countries worldwide and operations in more than thirty others.

Ian McDonald (British author) British science fiction novelist

Ian McDonald is a British science fiction novelist, living in Belfast. His themes include nanotechnology, postcyberpunk settings, and the impact of rapid social and technological change on non-Western societies.

St. Martin's Press is a book publisher headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, in the Equitable Building. St. Martin's Press is considered one of the largest English-language publishers, bringing to the public some 700 titles a year under six imprints.

Nnedi Okorafor Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction

Nnedimma Nkemdili "Nnedi" Okorafor is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction for both children and adults. She is best known for her Binti novellas and her novels Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, Akata Witch, and Lagoon. She has also written for comics and film.

Victor LaValle American writer

Victor LaValle is an American author. He is the author of a short-story collection, Slapboxing with Jesus and four novels, The Ecstatic,Big Machine,The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling. LaValle writes fiction primarily, though he has also written essays and book reviews for GQ, Essence Magazine, The Fader, and The Washington Post, among others.

Tom Doherty U.S. publisher

Tom Doherty is an American publisher and the founder of the science fiction and fantasy book publisher Tor Books. He started as a salesman for Pocket Books and rose to be Division Sales Manager. From there, he went to Simon & Schuster as National Sales Manager, then became publisher of paperbacks at Grosset & Dunlap, including Tempo Books, in 1969. In 1975, he became publisher for Ace Books. In 1979, he left Ace to establish his own company, Tom Doherty Associates, publishing under the Tor Books imprint starting in 1980, which has grown to become the largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy in the United States.

Pan Books Publishing imprint, part of Macmillan Publishers

Pan Books is a publishing imprint that first became active in the 1940s and is now part of the British-based Macmillan Publishers, owned by the Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group of Germany.

Cherie Priest American writer

Cherie Priest is an American novelist and blogger living in Seattle, Washington. is an online science fiction and fantasy magazine published by Tor Books, as well as an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan Publishers.

Adrian Tchaikovsky British fantasy and science fiction author

Adrian Czajkowski is a British fantasy and science fiction author. He is best known for his series Shadows of the Apt, and for his novel Children of Time.

Thomas Olde Heuvelt Dutch writer (born 1983)

Thomas Olde Heuvelt is a Dutch writer whose horror novel HEX has been translated into nine languages and published in fourteen countries, among them the US, France, China, and Brazil. His short stories have received the Hugo Award for Best Novelette, the Dutch Paul Harland Prize, and have been nominated for two additional Hugo Awards and a World Fantasy Award.

Adam Nevill is an English writer of supernatural horror, known for his book The Ritual. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Nevill worked as an editor.

Centipede Press is an American independent book and periodical publisher focusing on horror, weird tales, crime narratives, science fiction, gothic novels, fantasy art, and studies of literature, music and film. Its earliest imprints were Cocytus Press and Millipede Press.

<i>All the Birds in the Sky</i> 2016 novel by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Birds in the Sky is a 2016 science fantasy novel by American writer and editor Charlie Jane Anders. It is her debut speculative fiction novel and was first published in January 2016 in the United States by Tor Books. The book is about a witch and a techno-geek, their troubled relationship, and their attempts to save the world from disaster. The publisher described the work as "blending literary fantasy and science fiction".

Lee Harris is a British editor of science fiction, fantasy and horror. He is the only British editor ever to have been nominated in the Hugo Awards "short form" editing category, and the first British editor ever to have been nominated in the editing "long form" category.

Sarah Gailey American author

Sarah Gailey is an American author. Their alternate history novella River of Teeth was a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella, the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella, and the 2018 Locus Award for Best Novella. In 2018, they also won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer.


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