TOR PUBLISHING GROUP

A Division of Macmillan Publishers

Tordotcom Publishing

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Tordotcom Publishing is an imprint of the Tor Publishing Group that publishes cutting-edge and experimental speculative fiction. Our goal is to continue to grow new voices and provide unique opportunities for established authors to express a point of view at the edges of the genre, and we are dedicated to the best possible experience for every author, publishing and promoting books from an inclusive list in all formats on the international stage. In addition to our list of critically -acclaimed, best-selling, and award-winning novels, we are the world’s premier publisher of novella-length science fiction, fantasy, and horror. From novellas through to novels and series: We deliver stories at their right length.

chairman

Tom Doherty, Chairman

(he/him/his)

For over forty years, Tor Books, Forge Books, Tor Teen, and Starscape have been dedicated to publishing the best in genre fiction for adult, teen, and middle-grade readers. In 1979, when I founded the company, our intent was to focus on fiction, often grounded in science past, present, and future, starting with prehistoric fiction—which would be science fiction based on anthropology—and stretching across history and the present into a future which is often extrapolated from possibilities suggested in physics and other scientific fields of today.

The resulting list not only includes books from a wide range of genres, but has managed to win recognition in all of these fields. A diverse list like ours comes from an editorial staff with diverse interests. I want editors to reach beyond those founding concepts. To have the freedom to do work that interests them with authors that they enjoy reading. Our editors bring passion to every project and are dedicated to finding and publishing the best books in every genre. It is a pleasure to introduce them to you.

president-and-publisher-of-tor-publishing-group Photo credit: Mark Billy

Devi Pillai, President and Publisher of Tor Publishing Group

(she/her/hers)

Devi Pillai is the President and Publisher of TPG (Tor, Tordotcom, Forge, Starscape, Tor Teen and Nightfire).

She has over twenty years of publishing experience at HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmilian where she worked at a variety of science fiction, fantasy, and mainstream imprints. She was the founding editor at Orbit, where she worked for over a decade and which published The Witcher; James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series; the works of Brent Weeks, Gail Carriger, and Joe Abercrombie; and Hugo award-winning authors N. K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie.

Since joining Tor in 2016, she has overseen the publication of many award-winning and bestselling authors, including V. E. Schwab, Cixin Liu, and Mary Robinette Kowal. Her own authors currently include Brandon Sanderson, Christopher Paolini, Jenn Lyons, and Arkady Martine, whose debut novel A Memory Called Empire won the 2020 Hugo Award.

A fan at heart, she describes herself as having the bloody-minded reading tastes of a thirteen-year-old boy. She is always receptive to skillful pacing and deftly sketched characters, and of course assassins and dragons.

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Irene Gallo, Vice President, Publisher, Tordotcom Publishing

(she/her)

Irene Gallo is the Publisher of Tordotcom. Since its launch on July 20th, 2008 (not coincidentally, the anniversary of humankind landing on the moon) it has grown into a thriving community and a must-read site for science fiction and fantasy fans, winning numerous awards for both its original fiction and non-fiction, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus Awards. In 2015 we expanded Tordotcom’s fiction to include commercially available titles in print and ebook that start at 20,000 words up through full length novels. We enjoy being a home for both commercial fiction and the quirkier or more literary end of the market.

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Sanaa Ali-Virani, Assistant Editor, Tor, Tordotcom Publishing, Bramble

(she/her)

I have been with TPG since 2019 and am excited to be building my list. I am seeking science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction, at novel- and novella-length, with a preference for character-driven stories.

Across sub-genre, I tend to be drawn to books that are ultimately hopeful, and that carry a sense of adventure and exploration—whether that means setting off on a quest, delving into secrets of the past, or uncovering new corners in one’s own home.

Some of my particular interests include:

Deep dives into religion. Hook me with an interesting take on the god-king, immortals, false idols, reluctant deities, dead gods, or another angle. I am especially interested in set-ups that are not a direct analog to an extant religion or to the Greco-Roman pantheon [Brandon Sanderson’s work, Kushiel’s Dart].

Myths, folktales, legends, and epics. A good retelling will absolutely catch my attention, but I am even more excited about fiction that feels like myth or folklore without necessarily being based on a specific tale [The Tiger’s Daughter], as well as fiction that draws on a body of lore and makes it its own [The Bird King, On Fragile Waves].

I love an ensemble cast that makes me change my mind about my favorite character depending on who’s currently on the page; stories centering families, born or made; a diversified group with niche roles that comes together to make a united whole (think heist team, D&D party, spaceship crew, sports team) [Leverage, Haikyu, Sufficiently Advanced Magic].

I also love to see BIPOC and/or LBGTQIA+ characters as well as fiction that looks beyond Western norms. I am eager for all sorts of these stories, but those with South Asian, East African, or Japanese touchstones; immigrant and refugee narratives; and frameworks that defy or subvert gender and gendered societal roles will hit personal notes for me.

I have a weakness for books that can’t decide if they’re fantasy or science fiction [Light From Uncommon Stars], and also enjoy stubbornly SFF stories that nevertheless stretch into adjacent genres, particularly romance or historical fiction [This Is How You Lose the Time War, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street].

I am actively seeking submissions from authors of underrepresented backgrounds. Above all I am looking for stories that push the borders of genre from within. And I am always open to falling in love with something I didn’t even know I wanted!

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Ruoxi Chen, Editor, Tordotcom Publishing

(she/her)

I joined the Tordotcom Publishing team in 2017 and am interested in a wide range of speculative fiction for the adult market—from core science fiction and fantasy to literary crossover.

Some touchstone authors include Octavia Butler, Dorothy Dunnett, Kelly Link, Mary Renault, and N. K. Jemisin. I’m a sucker for unexpected retellings and works that slip between genres. Bring me a translatio imperii narrative about orisha, Meng Jiang Nu in space, Cleopatra in a fantasy of manners. Right now, I’m particularly interested in the following:

—Fantasy that kisses mythology with precise, confident narratives that turn on themselves like Megan Whalen Turner’s The King of Attolia, Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant, and Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi

—Queer speculative fiction that fluidly mixes genres and treats its characters with care (even if they are very much not preserved from danger) like Ryka Aoki’s The Light from Uncommon Stars, Alison Rumfitt’s Tell Me I’m Worthless, and Kai Ashante Wilson’s Sorcerer of the Wildeeps

—Immersive, fresh worlds that evoke new myths being made like Kerstin Hall’s The Border Keeper, N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and A. K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name. 

—Crossover SF/F (into literary, romance, thriller, can’t put your finger on it etc.) with vivid prose and worldbuilding/scene-setting used to amplify a strong, central relationship like Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War, Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds, Scott Hawkins’ The Library at Mount Char, and Helene Wrecker’s The Golem and the Jinni.

—A specific ask I have yet to find: I’d love to see an exceptional witch book that charms me and knocks me off my feet, whether in the one sidestep from our own contemporary world vein of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks, or Mona Awad’s Bunny, or further afield like Alix Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches and Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching. If your witches are queer, from outside the European tradition, working their magic in the diaspora (or all of the above!), you especially have my attention.

I prefer my narratives subversive, my fantasy postcolonial, and my families found. I’ve won the Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form and a Publishers Weekly Star Watch honor, and have had the joy of editing authors who have won the World Fantasy Award, the Crawford Award, the Alex Award, the Astounding Award, and the Hugo Award, among others. I’ve been lucky enough to debut authors such as Emily Tesh, Freya Marske, and Nghi Vo, and to work with voices like P. Djèlí Clark, Sarah Gailey, Seth Dickinson, Alexandra Rowland, and Tochi Onyebuchi on new projects.

I actively seek submissions—both novellas and novels—from authors from underrepresented backgrounds. Above all and regardless of subgenre, I’m looking for compelling characters and voices that will haunt me long past the last page.

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Oliver Dougherty, Assistant Editor, Tor, Tordotcom Publishing

(they/them)

I joined Tor Books in 2019, and I’m thrilled to be building my list. I’m acquiring secondary world speculative fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, and cross-genre books. 

I’m especially interested in acquiring books that have richly imagined worlds (whether or not they’re explained on the page) that explore power structures and hold intersectional understandings of experience (the Broken Earth Trilogy, An Unkindness of Ghosts, A Memory Called Empire) and books by authors who are marginalized in some way, especially BIPOC authors and authors who are disabled, queer, and trans.

Other elements I love:

—Stories that are driven by character, and where themes and interpersonal intrigue drive narrative tension more than plot (The Goblin Emperor, A Memory Called Empire)

—Politics and court intrigue, where people speak in subtext, especially when the power dynamics involved are related to empire and class (The Traitor Baru Cormorant, The Goblin Emperor, The Hands of the Emperor)

—Sentience in different forms, such as hive minds, unusual POVs, and non-humanoid aliens (Arrival, Ancillary Justice, Leech)

—Protagonists who are middle-aged or older, polyamorous, who are experts at something and apply those skills, or who have complex morality or are villains (Some Desperate Glory)

—Queernormative worlds and gender subversions

Gorgeous, poetic language

I am actively seeking submissions from authors of underrepresented backgrounds, especially BIPOC authors.

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Carl Engle-Laird, Senior Editor, Tordotcom Publishing

(he/him)

I’ve been with Tor Books and Tordotcom since 2012, and was brought on to Tordotcom Publishing at the very beginning. I’m seeking speculative novels and novellas for adults that challenge and transgress genre boundaries. 

My ideal submission has powerful prose, a strongly-written point of view, and is not afraid to challenge readers. I work with books that trust readers with difficulty and reward skepticism toward their narrative. I’m looking for the best book on your list, whether or not you think it’s your easiest book to sell.

Specific qualities I love:

*Queer fiction of all types, particularly unexpected queer fiction. I’m looking for speculative fiction that explodes our concepts of gender and sexuality, and captures the wild richness of the queer experience.

*Unrestrained worlds expressed through restrained, almost subterranean worldbuilding. I would much prefer a slow-burning exposition over an early clarification of basic laws.

*Science fantasy and fantastical science. Deep future stories where the boundary between scientific and magical has long since dissolved. 

*Generational fantasy that takes the long view on worldbuilding, giving a world space to evolve over time.

*Dark books that wrap thorny emotions in a wicked sense of humor. If it’s gothy, macabre, or touched by horror, I’m interested.

*Work on the boundary between literary and speculative, such as that written by David Mitchell, Charles Yu, Nghi Vo, and Sequoia Nagamatsu.

*Submissions from authors from underrepresented backgrounds.

Most of all, I’m looking for the next book to surprise me with something I’d never have expected. Send me something that will take my breath away.

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Emily Goldman, Assistant Editor, Tordotcom Publishing

(they/them)

I started at TPG in 2019 as Tor.com’s first ever short fiction coordinator and since joined the editorial team of Tordotcom Publishing. I’m a graduate of Portland State University’s publishing program, and I was previously at the The New Press and Ooligan Press. I am actively acquiring adult SFF (both novel and novella-length) and building my list.

I am a character-reader first and foremost, and my favorite stories feature characters who leap to life off the page and I can’t stop thinking about long after I’ve finished reading. Equally important to me, their characterizations are firmly embedded in and simultaneously a result of and a response to the world in which they inhabit. 

Particular weaknesses of mine include messy, complex characters who have a questionable, arbitrary relationship to morality (fictional or otherwise); thorny, complicated interpersonal relationships of any kind that tug at my heartstrings; found/forged/blended families; and intricate plotting & storytelling.

I am actively seeking/open to submissions from authors from underrepresented backgrounds.

Other things I love:

  • Sweeping, multilayered stories with complicated politics, shifting alliances, and/or subterfuge (e.g. Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds, Yoon Ha Lee’s Empires of Machineries series; Lara Elena Donnelly’s Amberlough Dossier).
  • World-building that feels immersive, lived-in, idiosyncratic, and/or truly fantastical (e.g. Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga; N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms; Frances Hardinge’s A Face Like Glass).
  • Stories that interrogate power and the power dynamics and narratives underlying a culture, an empire, a society, a family, etc., whether they’re set in in a fully made-up world or the world we live in (e.g. N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy; Gretchen Felker-Martin’s Manhunt; R.F. Kuang’s Poppy War trilogy).
  • Stories rooted in Jewish history, culture(s), and/or narratives (e.g. Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver, Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House, Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman, Veronica Schanoes’s Burning Girls and Other Stories). 
  • Queerness that doesn’t necessarily look like “our” understanding of queerness (for varied definitions of “our”) regarding how gender, sexuality, and/or relationships are imagined, embodied, and lived (e.g. Shelley Parker-Chan’s She Who Became the Sun; Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy; Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim; Sacha Lamb’s When the Angels Left the Old Country). 

I’m also interested in stories with trans and/or gender-nonconforming protagonists; protagonists on the aromantic and/or ace spectrum; stories that de-center the primacy of romance and/or center around non-romantic relationships of any and all kinds; and stories in which sex and/or eroticism is a central part of the world-building while standing separate from romance (e.g. Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart).

And of course, I am always open to falling in love with something I never even knew I wanted or needed in my life!

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Lee Harris, Executive Editor, Tordotcom Publishing

(he/him/his)

I joined Tordotcom Publishing in 2014 in order to head up the editorial arm of the new imprint, publishing fiction from novella length through to novels and series.

At Tordotcom I work with Nnedi Okorafor (Binti), Paul Cornell (Witches of Lychford), Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children), Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, Witch King), Becky Chambers (Monk and Robot) and many more. I’m looking for science fiction and fantasy of all flavors, with a minimum word count of around 20,000 words, though my novella preference is for books of 30k or longer. For novels, the only limit is the length the story needs, so anything up to—and beyond—150,000 words is fine, if that’s what makes the story work. I love a good techno-thriller, and I’m equally at home with an intriguing urban fantasy or space opera. What matters to me is a strong authorial voice, with believable and compelling characters. Combine those with a strong plot and you’ll have me hooked.

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Matt Rusin, Assistant Editor, Tordotcom Publishing

(he/him)

I have worked at TPG since 2019 and I am thrilled to be building my list at Tordotcom! I am open to novels as well as novellas longer than 20,000 words.

My tastes and interests are intensely varied, though a few constants do exist, namely: Fully-dimensional character work; worlds, landscapes, and settings that exhibit a subtle, surreal, and unexplainable “otherness;” and stories that feature multiple POVs, specifically ones that don’t directly intersect. Think David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.

More narrative elements I love are listed below:

Normal People in Abnormal Circumstances: I am easily hooked by characters who initially feel mundane, but whose deeper complexity is exposed to the reader through situations of the fantastic, the uncanny, the surreal (a big one), or the terrifying. Examples include Esther in Kate Elliott’s The Keeper’s Six, Will Navidson in Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, Fran in Kelly Link’s “The Summer People,” and Bhan in Saad Z. Hossain’s The Gurka and the Lord of Tuesday.

Ecofiction: I am a sucker for tales of nature rising up against the sapient creatures who have so recklessly polluted it. Think VanderMeer’s Annihilation.

Hard Hitting, Emotional Books: I am especially moved by stories that deal with themes of prejudice, catch-22s, serious sacrifices, injustice, loneliness and heartbreak, and transformational loss. I am also moved by stories that embrace the bittersweet, the return-to-home, the coming-of-age, and the concept of serenity/acceptance.

Flowery Prose: Obviously, it is hard to get this right and easy to overdo. Works I feel have succeeded in this space include Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Eugene Lim’s Dear Cyborgs, Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, and Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red.

Science Fantasy: Give me death-robots, but make them binge sitcoms (Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries); give me generational tension, but with Big-Tech’s egregious exploitation of personal privacy (George Saunders’ “My Flamboyant Grandson”), give me slippery alternate realities, but also getting stuck in rush-hour traffic (Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84).

I hesitate to identify anything I wouldn’t like to see, as I think books belong on shelves not in boxes. However, it will likely be more difficult to sell me horror that is particularly graphic (a recent exception is Hiron Ennes’ Leech), thrillers, new adult romance, or hard science fiction.

Finally, I love baseball. A dream, long-shot submission is a work of fantastical realism that does for the modern age what Bernard Malamud did for the 20th Century with The Natural.