In our new world of digital revolution, instant gratification and eBooks outselling print books Gollancz moves ahead of its peers with the announcement of the SF Gateway.
This is a natural progression, in my opinion, from the SF Masterworks list which has proved so popular and, at times, so controversial.
It allows new readers to easily access the backlists of many classic science fiction authors, and I couldn't be more pleased about this.
For this Gollancz deserves to achieve every success!
(I just sincerely hope they don't receive a backlash concerning the sex of the authors on offer - since this is an ongoing project, I'm sure that no one can possibly nitpick right from the off....)
Here is the official press release:
Gollancz, the SF and Fantasy imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, announces the launch of the world’s largest digital SFF library, the SF Gateway, which will make thousands of out-of-print titles by classic genre authors available as eBooks. Building on the remarkable success of Gollancz’s Masterworks series, the SF Gateway will launch this Autumn with more than a thousand titles by close to a hundred authors.
It will build to 3,000 titles by the end of 2012, and 5,000 or more by 2014. Gollancz’s Digital Publisher Darren Nash, who joined the company in September 2010 to spearhead the project said, “The Masterworks series has been extraordinarily successful in republishing one or two key titles by a wide range of authors, but most of those authors had long careers in which they wrote dozens of novels which had fallen out of print. It seemed to us that eBooks would offer the ideal way to make them available again. This realization was the starting point for the SF Gateway.” Wherever possible, the SF Gateway will offer the complete backlist of the authors included.
The SF Gateway will be closely integrated with the recently announced new online edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which provides an independent and definitive reference source of information on the authors and books included. Direct links between the Encyclopedia and the Gateway will provide easy access to eBook editions, for sale through all major online retailers.
The Gateway site will also act as a major community hub and social network for SF readers across the world, allowing them to interact with each other and recommend titles and authors. The site is planned to include forums, blogs, regular promotions, and is envisaged to become the natural home on the net for anyone with an interest in classic SFF.
Authors featured in the launch include such names as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Alice B. Sheldon (James Tiptree, Jr), Robert Silverberg, Kate Wilhelm and Connie Willis.
The SF Gateway was conceived by Orion Deputy CEO and Publisher Malcolm Edwards, who commented: “It’s clear that publishers need to show that they can respond to the challenges and opportunities of the digital revolution imaginatively, particularly when it comes to backlist. The SF Gateway is just such a response, creating what we hope will become a destination website which will promote the books and authors it features in an active way. We hope it will not only be a success in its own right, but that it will provide a model for future developments in backlist publishing.”
Built to the latest standards of HTML5 and CSS3, the SF Gateway site will use responsive web design to ensure a rewarding user experience across a range of mobile and desktop platforms and operating systems. Both the SF Gateway and the previously announced Encyclopedia of Science Fiction are being developed by STEEL, a Londonbased full service digital agency with over 15 years experience, whose clients include AOL, BBC Worldwide, Debenhams, FT.com, Greggs and TalkTalk.
The project has been praised by authors for connecting new generations of readers with classic stories they may not, until now, have been able to enjoy.
British Science Fiction Award-winner Alastair Reynolds said: “When I first started reading SF seriously, as a teenager growing up in Wales, one of the first walls I hit was the realisation that many classic and influential works of the field were either out of print or so hard to obtain that they may as well have been. SF is a forward-looking genre but its past has always been as fascinating as its future, and for that reason the SF Gateway is an exciting and groundbreaking venture, which should prove an enormous asset to the field.”
Double Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner Pat Cadigan added: “This is exactly what I've been hoping for now that the digital book is becoming more widespread. I have always said that the eBook will not be the death of the physical book – the eBook will save so many wonderful books from being lost. We have to remember that what we read is the book – what we read it on, whether ink and paper or pixels on a screen, is just the interface. I'm honestly thrilled about this new project and delighted to be on the list.”
The SF Gateway will be officially launched by Gollancz in September as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of its SF list.
For more information, please go to www.sfgateway.com, where updates on the project will also appear.
SF Gateway is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SFGateway and on Facebook at
Please direct enquiries in the first instance to Jonathan Weir on 020 7520 4314 or
I am SERIOUSLY excited about getting my hands on these eBooks - what a great time to be a Kindle owner!