We edit books
, mostly but not exclusively science fiction and fantasy, for Tor Books
. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of discovering and acquiring the first novels, or in some cases the first adult novels, of some remarkable writers, including but not limited to Maureen F. McHugh, Susan Palwick, Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, Jo Walton, John Scalzi, and Ada Palmer. Among the many books we’re proud to have helped publish are several notable award-winners. Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin
, edited by Teresa, won the Hugo Award in 2006, and Jo Walton’s Among Others
, edited by Patrick (and copyedited by Teresa!) won the Nebula and Hugo Awards in 2012. In 2013, John Scalzi’s Redshirts
, edited by Patrick, won the Locus
Award and the Hugo Award. In 2014, Charles Stross’s novella “Equoid
,” edited by both of us, won the Hugo for Best Novella, and “Wakulla Springs
” by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages, edited by Patrick, won the novella World Fantasy Award. We think all of our authors are awesome.
To our amazement, we’ll be among the Guests of Honor at the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, MidAmeriCon II, August 17-21, 2016, in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 2007, 2010, and 2013, Patrick won science fiction’s Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form. He thinks there are a bunch of other editors in the field who deserve similar recognition. This doesn’t mean he isn’t delighted when he’s a finalist.
We might be interested in your work. As acquiring editors for Tor, we’ve (1) acquired, edited, and/or published (2) novels aimed at readers of all ages, from middle grade on up, (3) in most of the subgenres of science fiction, fantasy, and adjacent areas of popular storytelling.
We’re positively interested in work from writers of any race, gender, species, sexual orientation, class, nationality, religion, political tendency, or physical/neurological status. Thing we care about most: Whether it’s a really good book. Why we avoid getting too specific about our preferences: We don’t want to say anything that will keep you from finishing and submitting that brilliant novel about something we would never in a million years have thought of on our own.
Patrick also acquires and edits original short fiction for Tor.com, Tor/Macmillan’s original-fiction-group-blog-art-gallery-public-forum SF ubersite. (Other editors acquiring fiction for the site are Liz Gorinsky, Ellen Datlow, and Ann VanderMeer.) General submission guidelines can be found here, although if you specifically want Patrick to look at your story, you can email it to him at the address on top of this page. We already mentioned Charles Stross’s “Equoid,” edited by both Patrick and Teresa and published on Tor.com, which won the Hugo for Best Novella in 2014, and “Wakulla Springs” by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages, edited by Patrick, which won the World Fantasy Award in the same year. Additionally, in 2011, Kij Johnson’s “Ponies”, acquired by Patrick, won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and in 2012, Charlie Jane Anders’s “Six Months, Three Days”, also acquired by Patrick, won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette.
We also teach writing. Every year, we’re among the instructors at Viable Paradise on Martha’s Vineyard. Together and separately we’ve also taught at a variety of other workshops. Patrick has been a weekend instructor at Clarion and has twice taught at Clarion West, but really, we’re best as a team.
Patrick occasionally edits anthologies. The first volume of his Starlight original anthology series won the World Fantasy Award, and individual stories in the series won various Hugo and Nebula awards. Among the many distinguished stories in the three Starlights were the debut appearances of Susanna Clarke and Greg van Eekhout. Wrote Kirkus: “Superior…There hasn’t been an original anthology series so consistently satisfying since Damon Knight’s Orbit.” Patrick also edited the YA-oriented reprint volumes New Skies and New Magics, and (with Jane Yolen) The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens. VOYA called New Skies “the finest collection of SF short stories published specifically for young adult readers in recent memory”; Locus called New Skies and New Magics “a first-rate selection of some of the best short SF and fantasy of recent years”; and Booklist called the Year’s Best a “strong, accessible collection...of real appeal to teen readers.” More recently, Patrick edited, with the late David G. Hartwell, a 250,000-word reprint anthology of science fiction by writers who came to prominence since the turn of the new century: Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, available from Tor, and (in the UK) from Constable & Robinson. A Chinese edition is forthcoming from New Star Press of Beijing. More about Twenty-First Century Science Fiction here. At the time of David's death in January 2016, he and Patrick were at work on a companion volume, Twenty-First Century Fantasy, contracted to Tor; Patrick hopes to be able to make arrangements for its completion.
Patrick also plays guitar and sometimes sings, most recently in a band called Whisperado, which consists of three New York guys who write and play songs about the American essentials: bowling, capitalism, and demanding women. Whisperado’s sound has been variously described as “rootsy,” “acceptable,” and “loud.” Whisperado’s debut EP Some Other Place (2006) and followup full-length album I’m Not the Road (2012) can be purchased on iTunes, CDBaby, and all the other places where you crazy digital kids get music nowadays.
Teresa writes. Some of her essays have been collected in a volume called Making Book. “Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a bloody good writer.” (—David Langford) A sequel collection, Making Conversation, is increasingly likely to be published in time for MidAmericon II in 2016.
Patrick is unsure how he wound up with a minor career writing introductions to other people’s books, but they’re all good books.
In 2003 the New England Science Fiction Association honored us with their annual Skylark Award, which is basically cool beyond our ability to quite explain. Thank you, NESFA, you rock. Jane Yolen was awarded the Skylark in 1990; here’s the cautionary tale she now delivers at every Skylark ceremony.
With the help of co-bloggers Avram Grumer and Abi Sutherland—and in the fond memory of our late co-blogger John M. Ford—we maintain a weblog: Making Light. Check out the outstanding comment sections. We’re extravagantly proud of our readers.
—with both of us, in the May 2013 issue of Locus
, the definitive trade magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field. Not available online, but print or electronic copies can be ordered here
. A few excerpts from it can be read on Locus’s site
, and here’s a bit more of it:
PNH: “I don’t know how it’s all going to work out, but I’ve always had a sense that the things I am actually good at, which is wading through a lot of stuff and saying, ‘Check this out, this is good’—somebody’s going to be willing to pay for that because I’m pretty good at it. And it cannot be automated.”
TNH: “Actually, there’s one way it can be. I find this very interesting. The fanfic universe is a very inventive place, and worth watching because there’s so much of it and they’re so good at teaching one another to write. The quality of top-level fanfic is now well into the publishable range.”
PNH: “We’re talking about amateur fiction written in someone else’s universe. I clarify this only because the word ‘fanfic’ has meant so many different things historically.”
TNH: “Go to somewhere like Archive Of Our Own, AO3, and what they’ve got are very sophisticated sorting mechanisms. People recommend and bookmark stories, and give each other kudos for good writing, and you can tell the database ‘search for this, this, and that characteristic, and give me the matching stuff with the most hits.’ Personal opinion is variable, but if you get enough people voting for something, the stuff that comes to the top will be good. And since commercial publishers can’t skim off the cream, there’s no limit on how good it can be. There’s an astounding amount of energy and intellectual ferment going on in the fanfic universe.”
PNH: “Our competition at Tor isn’t Ace or Del Rey or Simon & Schuster. They’re part of it, but the real competition is all the other things you can do with your time these days instead of reading books, many of which are really high-quality and terrific things to do. The task is staying interesting in the face of all that. Anybody who’s our age—I’m 53 and she’s 56—we were kids and teenagers in the ’60s and ’70s, so we’re the last or second to last generation who can remember being bored kids with nothing to do.”