Malcolm Edwards has announced that he will step down as deputy CEO and publisher of British house Orion at the end of 2015. He will become chairman of Orion's science fiction and fantasy imprint Gollancz, and consultant publisher at Orion.
Orion CEO David Young said that the move had arisen from Edwards' desire to work a flexible week, concentrating on fewer projects but ones close to his heart. "I am delighted that we have been able to accommodate Malcolm's wishes in a way that ensures that he remains at the heart of Orion’s publishing," Young said.
He added: "Malcolm is a remarkable publisher. He is a formidable judge of publishing talent: during his career at Orion and HarperCollins he has worked with many bestselling writers including Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Anthony Horowitz, Ursula Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, and Kate Mosse, and has had particularly strong and long-lasting relationships with such writers as JG Ballard, Philip K Dick and Alan Furst. He has been a generous guide and mentor to many of the brightest editors and publishers in the industry. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his enormous contribution to Orion so far and in the years to come."
Edwards began his publishing career at Gollancz in the 1970s. He became a science fiction editor there in 1982, and later rose to publishing director. In 1989, he left to work at HarperCollins, where he became deputy managing director of the trade division (and where he and Young were also colleagues). He was named editor of the year at the 1995 British Book Awards. He joined Orion in 1998.
He said: "It's particularly difficult to find a way of stepping off the management roundabout, and I'm grateful to David and Tim [Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Orion's parent Hachette] for devising an elegant formula which allows me to stay involved with those parts of publishing I still love, while stepping aside to allow some of my very talented colleagues to take on further responsibilities."
Hely Hutchinson added: "As publisher and deputy CEO, Malcolm is central to much of Orion's success and I know I speak for his colleagues and for Orion's authors when I say how pleased we are that this new arrangement ensures that he continues in a pivotal role at Orion while focusing, once again, on the house where he began his career. Gollancz, already the pre-eminent list in sf publishing, is destined for even greater things under Malcolm's Chairmanship. The SF Gateway and the Gollancz Festival (in its second year) are just recent two initiatives that embellish its reputation. I often turn to Malcolm for his wise advice on a wide variety of subjects and I want to thank him warmly for his enormous contribution to Orion, to Hachette UK and for his ongoing commitment to the company."
This article original appeared in BookBrunch, a publishing partner of PW's in the U.K.