Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random House :D

So I know it's probably old news, but Random House said "no" to the iPad and agency model. For those of us reading and writing SFF this means Del Rey will not be a part of this arrangement. Now, all publishers have their place in the genre, and those of us who read prolifically own books by all of them. But likewise, wide reading can teach what some publishers publish and what others publish. DAW and TOR like their epics. Thanks to Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedes Lackey, DAW published what I call "feminist fantasy" for the longest time, but which is slowly leading into "fluff fantasy" as Luna encroaches on their audience. (And Mercedes Lackey is also writing for that publisher as well). And fluff certainly has it's place, as Erica detailed in an early post. TOR is like DAW but rather than emphasizing social injustice I tend to see more morally ambiguous characters. (Mind, this might be changing lately, Rothfuss is published by DAW). But, anyway, DAW and TOR are "mainstream" for the genre. I think of them (and Del Rey) as the largest publishers we have.

Ace I read when I have (usually) a more artistic craving: McKillip, Lynn, and McKinley. Though with Dawn Cook, they certainly have had some fluff, too (and those are enjoyable books.) Patricia Briggs' success has been well earned, and she is published by Ace. The Mercy Thompson series is my favorite of the Urban Fantasies currently gracing bookstore shelves.

Baen has a more negative reputation, and I think a glance at a Baen cover explains the "why."

But Del Rey. Del Rey has Lord of the Rings, Hitchhikers's Guide, Star Wars, Manga... the staples, as far as I'm concerned. They publish new authors, yes, In branching out to include manga and sending e-newsletters to keep readers posted about new releases I think they're right on track. They have set standards in the past. I hope the fact that Random House has opted out of the agency model means that they have a greater understanding of our needs as the audience. But we have yet to see what the fallout of these decisions will be.


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