Victor Gollancz Ltd

Last updated

Victor Gollancz Ltd
Victor-gollancz-logo.png
Parent company Orion Publishing Group
Founded1927;95 years ago (1927)
Founder Victor Gollancz
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesBooks
Fiction genres Science fiction, fantasy, horror
Imprints Gateway
Official website www.gollancz.co.uk

Victor Gollancz Ltd ( /ɡəˈlænts/ ) was a major British book publishing house of the twentieth century and continues to publish science fiction and fantasy titles as an imprint of Orion Publishing Group.

Contents

Gollancz was founded in 1927 by Victor Gollancz, and specialised in the publication of high-quality literature, nonfiction, and popular fiction, including crime, detective, mystery, thriller, and science fiction. Upon Gollancz's death in 1967, ownership passed to his daughter, Livia, who in 1989 sold it to Houghton Mifflin. Three years later in October 1992, Houghton Mifflin sold Gollancz to the publishing house Cassell & Co. Cassell and its parent company Orion Publishing Group were acquired by Hachette in 1996, [1] and in December 1998 the merged Orion/Cassell group turned Gollancz into its science fiction/fantasy imprint.

Origins as a political house

A Gollancz edition of The Door into Summer, displaying the distinctive yellow dust jacket style. The Door into Summer cover.jpg
A Gollancz edition of The Door into Summer , displaying the distinctive yellow dust jacket style.

Gollancz was left-inclined in politics and a supporter of socialist movements. This is reflected in some of the call for the books he published. Victor Gollancz commissioned George Orwell to write about the urban working class in the North of England; the result was The Road to Wigan Pier . His break with Orwell came when he declined to publish Orwell's account of the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia , the pair having drifted apart on political grounds. He did publish The Red Army Moves by Geoffrey Cox on the Winter War, which was critical of the Soviet attack on Finland, but also foresaw that the Red Army would defeat the Germans. He also published works by German exiles, such as Hilde Meisel.

Gollancz was the original publisher of a number of authors and their books including:

Many of Gollancz's books were published in one of their familiar house dust jackets, of which the most famous was bright yellow, with the title and author rendered in a vibrant, bold typography. [2]

The Left Book Club, the first book club in the UK, was a publishing group pioneered by Gollancz that exerted a strong left-wing influence in Great Britain from 1936 to 1948. It offered a monthly book choice, for sale to members only, as well as a newsletter that acquired the status of a major political magazine. It also held an annual rally. Membership peaked at 57,000 but it eventually ceased publishing in 1948. The books and pamphlets were published with their distinctive covers — orange for paperback (1936–1938) and red for hardback (1938–1948) editions.

Transition to science fiction and fantasy genres

From the early 1960s through the late 1990s, Gollancz Science Fiction was the pre-eminent hardcover science fiction publishing list in the UK, for the first quarter century being both recognisable by, and famous for, its distinctive Gollancz Yellow dust-jackets with black and magenta typography, providing a major part of the publisher's output, alongside Gollancz' crime fiction and general fiction lists. Full-colour dust-jackets were introduced on the science fiction list from the mid-1980s adding significantly to production costs, but also to commercial sales - an important consideration with increasing pressure upon the UK's public library system's budgets. In 1998, Gollancz was diminished into just the science fiction and fantasy imprint Gollancz Science Fiction after it was acquired by Orion Publishing Group. Gollancz has also proceeded to publish the SF Masterworks series, and the Fantasy Masterworks series previously appearing under the Orion sister-imprint Millennium. Gollancz has published award-winning and award-nominated books by, among others:

Expansion into manga

In 2005, Gollancz set up a manga publishing arm, Gollancz Manga, which published UK editions of various Viz Media properties. [3] As of 2014, Gollancz no longer publish manga and Viz Media have re-released the publisher's series.[ citation needed ]

The following titles have been published:

Case Closed volumes 1–15
Dragon Ball volumes 1–16
Dragon Ball Z volumes 1–4
Fushigi Yūgi volumes 1–17
Flame of Recca volumes 1–10
Maison Ikkoku volumes 1–15
One Piece volumes 1–12
Rurouni Kenshin volumes 1–16
Yu-Gi-Oh! volumes 1–7
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist volumes 1–15

SF Gateway website

In 2011, Gollancz launched the SF Gateway website, an online library that features out-of-print science fiction books republished as e-books. Gollancz aims to make 5,000 or more books available by 2014 and the website will be integrated with the online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction . [4]

Accolades

In terms of the number of published works that have been nominated for major awards, Gollancz ranks as one of the field's top publishers of science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction. [5]

Book series

Related Research Articles

<i>The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction</i> English language reference work

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (SFE) is an English language reference work on science fiction, first published in 1979. It has won the Hugo, Locus and British SF Awards. Two print editions appeared in 1979 and 1993. A third, continuously revised, edition was published online from 2011; a change of web host was announced as the launch of a fourth edition in 2021.

Fantasy Masterworks is a series of British paperbacks intended to comprise "some of the greatest, most original, and most influential fantasy ever written", and claimed by its publisher Millennium to be "the books which, along with Tolkien, Peake and others, shaped modern fantasy."

<i>SF Masterworks</i> A series of science fiction novel reprints

S.F. Masterworks is a series of science fiction novel reprints published by UK-based company Orion Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Hachette UK. The series is intended for the United Kingdom and Australian markets, but many editions are distributed to the United States and Canada by Hachette Book Group. As of June 2022, there are 188 unique titles in the series, 186 of which have been printed in the relaunched series. Approximately 230 volumes, including hardcover and revised editions, have been published in total.

Tor Books United States book publisher

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.

<i>Wall of Serpents</i> Fantasy book by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

Wall of Serpents is a collection of two fantasy short stories by American science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the third volume in their Harold Shea series. The pieces were originally published in the magazines Fantasy Fiction and Beyond Fantasy Fiction in the issues for June 1953 and October 1954. The collection was first published in hardcover by Avalon Books in 1960, with a new edition from Phantasia Press in 1978. The first paperback edition was published by Dell Books in 1979. A 1980 edition published by Sphere Books was retitled The Enchanter Compleated. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.

Light novel Style of Japanese young adult novel

A light novel is a style of Japanese young adult novel primarily targeting high school and middle school students. The term "light novel" is a wasei-eigo, or a Japanese term formed from words in the English language. Light novels are often called ranobe (ラノベ) or, in English, LN. The average length of a light novel is about 50,000 words, close to the minimum word count expected for a Western novel, and is published in the bunkobon format. Light novels are subject to dense publishing schedules, with new installations being published in 6-9 month intervals.

Locus: The Magazine of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, founded in 1968, is an American magazine published monthly in Oakland, California. It is the news organ and trade journal for the English-language science fiction and fantasy fields. It also publishes comprehensive listings of all new books published in the genres. The magazine also presents the annual Locus Awards. Locus Online was launched in April 1997, as a semi-autonomous web version of Locus Magazine.

Orion Publishing Group British publisher

Orion Publishing Group Ltd. is a UK-based book publisher. It was founded in 1991 and acquired Weidenfeld & Nicolson the following year. The group has published numerous bestselling books by notable authors including Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, Nemir Kirdar and Quentin Tarantino.

<i>Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet</i>

Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet is a biography of Muhammad by the British religion writer and lecturer Karen Armstrong, published by Gollancz in 1991.

<i>Lovecraft: A Biography</i>

Lovecraft: A Biography is a 1975 biography of the writer H. P. Lovecraft by science-fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Doubleday in February 1975.

<i>Dark Valley Destiny</i>

Dark Valley Destiny: the Life of Robert E. Howard is a biography of the writer Robert E. Howard by science-fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp in collaboration with Catherine Crook de Camp and Jane Whittington Griffin, first published in hardcover by Bluejay Books in December 1983, and in trade paperback by the same publisher in May 1986. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011, as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.

<i>Land of Unreason</i>

Land of Unreason is a fantasy novel by American writers Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp. It was first published in the fantasy magazine Unknown Worlds for October, 1941 as "The Land of Unreason". Revised and expanded, it was first published in book form by Henry Holt and Company in 1942. It has been reprinted numerous times since by various publishers, including by Ballantine Books in January 1970 as the tenth volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.

<i>Time and Chance: An Autobiography</i>

Time and Chance: an Autobiography is the autobiography of science fiction and fantasy writer L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in 1996. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011, as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.

<i>Tales from Gavagans Bar</i> Book by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

Tales from Gavagan's Bar is a collection of fantasy short stories by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, illustrated by the latter's wife Inga Pratt. It was first published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers in 1953; an expanded edition rearranging the contents and adding pieces not in the first was published in hardcover by Owlswick Press in June 1978. The original illustrations were retained in this edition. It was subsequently issued in paperback by Bantam Books in January 1980. An e-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. The collection has also been published in German.

<i>The Tritonian Ring and Other Pusadian Tales</i>

The Tritonian Ring and Other Pusadian Tales is a 1953 collection of stories by American science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers. An E-book edition was published as The Tritonian Ring and Other Pasudian [sic] Tales by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. The pieces were originally published between 1951 and 1953 in the magazines and anthologies Two Complete Science Adventure Books, Fantasy Fiction, Imagination Stories of Science and Fantasy, and Fantastic Adventures. The title story, the novel The Tritonian Ring has also been published separately.

<i>Genus Homo</i> (novel) 1941 novel by L. Sprague de Camp and P. Schuyler Miller

Genus Homo is a science fiction novel by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and P. Schuyler Miller. It was first published in the science fiction magazine Super Science Stories for March, 1941, and subsequently published in book form in hardcover by Fantasy Press in 1950 and in paperback by Berkley Books in 1961. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. It has also been translated into French, Italian and German.

<i>Science-Fiction Handbook</i>

Science-Fiction Handbook, subtitled The Writing of Imaginative Fiction, is a guide to writing and marketing science fiction and fantasy by L. Sprague de Camp, "one of the earliest books about modern sf." The original edition was published in hardcover by Hermitage House in 1953 as a volume in its Professional Writers Library series. A revised edition, by L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp, titled Science Fiction Handbook, Revised, was published in hardcover by Owlswick Press in 1975 and as a trade paperback by McGraw-Hill in 1977. An E-book version of the revised edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on April 30, 2014.

Malcolm Edwards

Malcolm John Edwards is a British editor and critic in the science fiction field. An alumnus of The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, he received his degree from the University of Cambridge. He was Deputy CEO at the Orion Publishing Group up until 2015, when he stepped down to become the chairman of science fiction publishing house Gollancz. Edwards lives in London with his wife, the CEO of a public relations company.

<i>The Incomplete Enchanter</i>

The Incomplete Enchanter is a collection of two fantasy novellas by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the first volume in their Harold Shea series. The pieces were originally published in the magazine Unknown in the issues for May and August 1940. The collection was first published in hardcover by Henry Holt and Company in 1941 and in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1960.

The Science Fiction Awards Database (SFADB) is an index of science fiction, fantasy, and horror awards compiled by Mark R. Kelly and published by the Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Known formerly as the Locus Index to SF Awards, it has been cited as an invaluable science fiction resource, and is often more up-to-date than the awards' own websites.

References

  1. "History of Hachette Australia". hachette.com.au.
  2. Inspiration: Yellow jackets, skinnylaminx.com. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  3. "Away in a manga" . The Times . 6 August 2005. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  4. Neill, Graeme (20 July 2011). "Gollancz opens sci-fi Gateway to e-books". The Bookseller . Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  5. "Top SF/F/H Publishers". Worlds Without End.

Further reading