What we do
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, Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald, Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, Jo Walton, and John Scalzi. 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. This year, 2013, John Scalzi’s Redshirts
is a finalist for the Hugo. We think all of our authors are awesome.
In 2007, Patrick won science fiction’s Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form, and he won it again in 2010. He thinks there are a bunch of other editors in the field who deserve similar recognition. This doesn't mean he isn't delighted to be a finalist in 2013.
We 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. In 2007, for the second time, Patrick taught a week at Clarion West. We think one of the Clarions should invite us to teach as a team. We’re particularly ready for the call from this one.
Along with co-editor Liz Gorinsky and consulting editors Ellen Datlow and Ann VanderMeer, Patrick acquires and edits original short fiction for Tor.com, Tor/Macmillan’s original-fiction-group-blog-art-gallery-public-forum-social-networking SF ubersite; submission guidelines can be found here. 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.
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 has edited, with 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, forthcoming from Tor in November 2013.
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)
Patrick is unsure how he wound up with a minor career writing introductions to other people’s books, but they’re all good books.
With the help of co-bloggers James D. Macdonald, 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.
Our last name
—really is Nielsen Hayden, not “Hayden” or “Nielsen-Hayden”. Read about it.
Upcoming travel & appearances
Teresa will be Editor Guest of Honor at ConQuest 44
, May 24-26, 2013, in Kansas City, Missouri, and of course Patrick will be there as well. We love ConQuest—it’s a great little regional convention and they’ve been incredibly kind to us over the years.
Patrick will be at the annual meeting of the American Library Association in Chicago, June 28-30, 2013, and a week later, at Convergence in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
We’ll both be at LoneStarCon 3, the 71st (!) World Science Fiction Convention, in San Antonio, Texas, August 29 - September 2, 2013.
We’re “Special Guests” at FenCon X, October 4-6, Dallas, Texas. Among other things, we’ll be teaching a writing workshop, which we’re told is (sorry!) completely sold out.
As usual, we’ll both be among the instructors at Viable Paradise, the annual week-long SF writing workshop on Martha’s Vineyard. 2013’s workshop, the seventeenth, will be held October 13-18.
Patrick will be at 2013’s World Fantasy Convention, October 31 - November 3 in Brighton, England. And a week later he’ll be at Novacon 43 in Nottingham. Three guesses which one he’s looking forward to more. Wait, three guesses are way too many. One guess is way too many.
—with Patrick, one
conducted by Darrell Schweitzer in late 2000, and published in the Bulletin
of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and another
conducted by Ernest Lilley in 2004 and finally published, suitably updated, in 2007. Lots of out-of-date commentary about the state of SF publishing.
A more recent interview
—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
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.”
Meanwhile, Teresa may be found
Toronto, 1983: the authors pose for their Velvet Underground album-cover shot.
Tucson, 2004: Not Dead Yet.
(Photo credits: Jas and Jan Hayden, respectively.)