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Edwards, Malcolm

Entry updated 21 August 2023. Tagged: Author, Critic, Editor.

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(1949-    ) UK editor, critic and publisher, educated at Cambridge, where he graduated in anthropology. Active in UK sf Fandom in the 1970s and early 1980s, he published the first complete text of James Blish's "The Science in Science Fiction" (May 1951-May 1952 Science Fiction Quarterly) in his fanzine Quicksilver #2 in 1971; edited the British Science Fiction Association journal Vector 1972-1974; worked as sf editor for Gollancz 1976-1977; and was administrator of the Science Fiction Foundation 1978-1980 and editor of its journal Foundation: The Review of Science Fiction #13-#19. Edwards was a contributing editor to the first edition of this encyclopedia in 1979. He was one of the two principal members of the board which founded and for some time edited Interzone; though he became less active after the fourth issue, he remained an Advisory Editor for some time. Constellations: Stories of the Future (anth 1980) assembled Young Adult sf; Gollancz/Sunday Times SF Competition Stories (anth 1985), which he edited anonymously, assembled the best material from that competition. In the early 1980s he returned to Gollancz, whose sf list he improved and where he rose rapidly in influence, becoming Publishing Director. He left Gollancz in 1989 to join Grafton Books, a division of HarperCollins, of which he became Publishing Director, Trade Fiction, responsible among other things for the sf/fantasy list. In 1998 he moved to Orion Books (which soon purchased Gollancz) as managing director, in 2003 becoming Deputy CEO and Group Publisher, a post which gave him (among other responsibilities) influence over all sf published by the amalgamated firm, whose various genre editors reported to Edwards; in 2015 he stepped down from his executive positions to become Consultant Publisher to Orion and Chair of Gollancz, eventually giving up these roles at the end of May 2019 and later that year taking up a new fiction-publishing role at André Deutsch.

At Gollancz, he edited the Science Fiction Masterworks sequence, comprising re-releases of notable sf novels from H G Wells to recent decades; despite occasional periods on hold, the series is currently active and approaching 200 titles. A companion series, Fantasy Masterworks, was co-edited with Jo Fletcher. Edwards was President of World SF in 1990-1991 and received the British Book Award as Editor of the Year for 1995 (presented 1996).

In the late 1970s Edwards began work, always in collaboration, on the text of a series of books – mostly pictorial – about sf and fantasy. With Robert P Holdstock he produced a series of sf and fantasy coffee-table books with fairly brief texts: Alien Landscapes (graph 1979), Tour of the Universe: The Journey of a Lifetime – The Recorded Diaries of Leio Scott and Caroline Luranski (graph 1980), Magician: The Lost Journals of the Magus Geoffrey Carlyle (graph 1982), Realms of Fantasy (graph 1983) and Lost Realms (graph 1985). None of these could be taken very seriously, though the first has interesting artwork and Tour of the Universe is unusual in that theme park rights were sold, leading to an interplanetary space-shuttle simulation ride that operated in Toronto's CN Tower 1986-1990. Another collaborative illustrated book was Spacecraft in Fact and Fiction (1979) with Harry Harrison. Edwards's most interesting book, a collaboration with Maxim Jakubowski and this time not a picture-book, is The Complete Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy Lists (1983; rev vt The SF Book of Lists 1983), compiled for the trivia buff and often very funny, but also containing – if the reader can cope with the absence of an index – a great deal of solid information about sf not easily found elsewhere. Edwards's one published sf story, "After-Images" (Spring 1983 Interzone), won a BSFA Award. A is for Brian: A 65th Birthday Present for Brian W Aldiss (anth 1988) with Frank Hatherley and Margaret Aldiss was a festschrift for Brian Aldiss. [PN/DRL]

see also: Interzone; Nova Awards; Worldcon.

Malcolm John Edwards

born London: 3 December 1949


nonfiction and "non-fact"

works as editor


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