Jonathan Strahan has the scoop on the unfortunate events happening at the Science Fiction Book Club.
On Monday Publishers Weekly reported that Bertelsmann would overhaul its Book Club business, restructuring a number of specialty book clubs and eliminating 280 jobs. It also announced that it would close Madison Park Press, its 18-month-old original publishing arm, to focus on its book club business.
The impact of these decisions on the science fiction community was immediate. While there have been no official announcements, it appears that both long-serving Science Fiction Book Club Editor-in-Chief Ellen Asher and Senior Editor Andrew Wheeler have lost their positions with the company. Given that they were the only editors working for the fifty-four-year-old SFBC, it seems likely that Bertelsmann will ultimately combine the SFBC with its main Doubleday Book Club.
Strahan also says “it seems certain that the books currently under contract will be the final original books to be published by the SFBC for the foreseeable future.” That is very unfortunate. The SFBC has produced many fine original anthologies over the last few years, some of which brought us award winning stories.
But more importantly, the SF community is sure to be adversely affected by the loss of these two influential Editors. We wish them both the best of luck in their future endeavors and are confident that they will excel at whatever they choose to do.