Tag Archives: Douglas Adams

Tor UK now accepting direct author submissions

Tor Books

Tor UK is the Pan Macmillan imprint specialising in science fiction, fantasy and horror. Until now, Tor (as with many other mainstream publishers) did not accept direct submissions. In a recent blogpost announcement, Tor Books has now opened its doors to the floodgates.

Tor’s authors include Douglas Adams, James Herbert, Robert Jordan and Amanda Hocking. I wonder if it was the acquisition of the self-published success story Amanda Hocking that inspired the move. The refusal to accept direct submissions has made most publishers more and more insular over the years. Brick and mortar publishers come to become over-dependent on their already established authors, as well as on literary agents to be their filtration system for submissions. This wider casting of the net seems to be part of the general trend of the larger publishers, who have begun to realise that the self-published market is becoming a real competitive threat. Especially in the SFF genre.

It does mean that Tor will be inundated, I wonder how will they sift the chaff? I know from my experience of working at a publisher who did accept direct submissions, anyone from the postroom staff to HR who volunteered to read through the slush pile can be a filter for submissions. The likelihood that it will get to the eyes of the editor is unlikely, as sadly, the majority of submissions are, for want of a better term, slush. Tor’s filtration system for submissions will be the true test of whether their bold move into the brave new world of publishing will work.

Tor will accept English language full length novel (95,000 – 150,000 word) submissions in the genres of science fiction, horror and fantasy only. Submissions need to be via email: TorUKSubmissions@macmillan.com.  Have a look on the Tor Blogpost for details of how to submit your work.

20 Inspirational Quotes from Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors


 I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Douglas Adams

OK, so the  first quote, above, is not so much an inspirational quote as much as it is a highly amusing one. The following are some great lines and advice that I have come across on my procrastination occasions. I’m sure that there are several other wise words from esteemed authors of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy vein. If you have any, please add them to the comments, it would be great to hear from you. I have taken the liberty of including E.B. White in the list, because anyone who writes about a talking mouse is writing in the realm of fantasy…

1.  Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter. – Neil Gaiman

2.   The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story. – Ursula K. Le Guin

3.    There are two kinds of writers. There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail. The gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. – George R.R. Martin

4.     Don’t be afraid to discard work you know isn’t up to standard. Don’t save junk, just because it took you a long time to write it. – David Eddings

5.     No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing. – E.B. White

6.     Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very;” otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. – C.S. Lewis

Read. Read. Read.

7.      If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King

8.     The most important thing for any aspiring writer, is to read! And not just the sort of thing you’re trying to write, be that fantasy, SF, comic books, whatever. You need to read everything. – George R.R. Martin

On Characterisation

9.      Get inside their skin. That includes even the ones who are complete bastards, nasty, twisted, deeply flawed human beings with serious psychological problems. Even them. – George R.R. Martin

10.      I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. – Stephen King

11.      Listen to the way people talk. If your characters sound real the rest is easy. – David Eddings

12.      First, find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him.  – Ray Bradbury

13.     If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others:  read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative centre of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. – Stephen King

On Inspiration:

14.      Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. – Stephen King

15.      Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any. – Orson Scott Card

16.     Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. – Ray Bradbury

Perseverance: Get Started and Keep Going

17.      Keep working. Keep trying. Keep believing. You still might not make it, but at least you gave it your best shot. If you don’t have calluses on your soul, this isn’t for you. Take up knitting instead. – David Eddings

18.      There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. – Terry Pratchett

19.      It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish. – J.R.R. Tolkien

20.      You fail only if you stop writing. – Ray Bradbury