We edit books
, mostly but not exclusively science fiction and fantasy, for the Tor Publishing Group
, where Patrick is editor-in-chief at the Tor Books imprint and Teresa is a consulting editor. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of discovering and acquiring the first novels, or in some cases the first adult novels, of some remarkable writers, including but not limited to Maureen F. McHugh, Susan Palwick, Cory Doctorow, Jo Walton, John Scalzi, Ada Palmer, and Charlie Jane Anders.
Among the many books and stories we’re proud to have helped publish are several notable award-winners. In 2006, Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin, edited by Teresa, won the Hugo Award. In 2012, Charlie Jane Anders's “Six Months, Three Days”, edited by Patrick, won the Hugo Award; and Jo Walton’s Among Others, edited by Patrick and Teresa, won the Nebula and Hugo Awards. In 2013, John Scalzi’s Redshirts, edited by Patrick, won the Locus Award and the Hugo Award. In 2014, Charles Stross’s novella “Equoid,” edited by both of us, won the Hugo Award, and “Wakulla Springs” by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages, edited by Patrick, won the World Fantasy Award. In 2015, Jo Walton’s nonfiction collection What Makes This Book So Great, edited by both of us, won the Locus Award, and her My Real Children, edited by Patrick, won the Tiptree Award (now renamed the Otherwise Award). In 2017, All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, co-edited by Patrick and his Tor colleague Miriam Weinberg, won the Nebula Award and the Locus Award. In 2018, John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire, edited by Patrick, won the Locus award. In 2021, Naomi Kritzer’s short story “Little Free Library”, acquired by Patrick for Tor.com, won the Locus Award. In 2022, Jo Walton’s Or What You Will, edited by Teresa, won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award; Charlie Jane Anders’s story collection Even Greater Mistakes, edited by Patrick, won the Locus Award; and the same author’s nonfiction book Never Say You Can’t Survive: How To Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories, also edited by Patrick, won the Hugo Award. We think all of our authors are awesome.
In 2007, 2010, and 2013, Patrick himself won science fiction’s Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form. He thinks there are a bunch of other editors in the field who deserve similar recognition.
We also teach writing. We’re among the regular instructors at Viable Paradise on Martha’s Vineyard. Together and separately we’ve taught at a variety of other workshops as well.
Patrick has edited some anthologies. The first volume of his Starlight original anthology series won the World Fantasy Award, and individual stories in the series won various Hugo and Nebula awards. Among the many distinguished stories in the three Starlights were the debut appearances of Susanna Clarke and Greg van Eekhout. Wrote Kirkus: “Superior…There hasn’t been an original anthology series so consistently satisfying since Damon Knight’s Orbit.” Patrick also edited the YA-oriented reprint volumes New Skies and New Magics, and (with Jane Yolen, in 2004) The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens. VOYA called New Skies “the finest collection of SF short stories published specifically for young adult readers in recent memory”; Locus called New Skies and New Magics “a first-rate selection of some of the best short SF and fantasy of recent years”; and Booklist called the Year’s Best a “strong, accessible collection...of real appeal to teen readers.” A Korean publisher issued handsome editions of New Magics and New Magics, and while Patrick was sent copies, they were lost in a move and he’d love to replace them. More recently, Patrick edited, with the late David G. Hartwell, a 250,000-word reprint anthology of science fiction by writers who came to prominence since the turn of the new century: Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, published in 2013 by Tor, and (in the UK) by Constable & Robinson. A Chinese edition appeared in 2021 from New Star Press of Beijing, under the title (in roman type) Future Preloaded. More about Twenty-First Century Science Fiction here.
Patrick also plays guitar and sometimes sings. From 2003 to 2021 he was in a band called Whisperado, which consisted of several New Yorkers who wrote and played songs about essential American subjects such as bowling, capitalism, and demanding women. Whisperado’s sound has been variously described as “rootsy,” “acceptable,” and “loud.” Whisperado’s debut EP Some Other Place (2006), followup full-length album I’m Not the Road (2012), and final album Out the Door (2019), can be heard and/or purchased on iTunes, CD Baby, Spotify, and all those other places you crazy digital kids get your music nowadays.
Teresa writes. In 1994, some of her essays were collected in a volume called Making Book. “Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a bloody good writer.” (—David Langford) A sequel collection, Making Conversation, was published in 2016 for the 74th World Science Fiction Covention, MidAmericon II, at which both of us were among the guests of honor.
In 2003 the New England Science Fiction Association honored us with their annual Skylark Award, which is basically cool beyond our ability to quite explain. Thank you, NESFA, you rock. Jane Yolen was awarded the Skylark in 1990; here’s the cautionary tale she now delivers at every Skylark ceremony.
With the help of co-bloggers Avram Grumer and Abi Sutherland—and in the fond memory of our late co-blogger John M. Ford—, we maintain a weblog: Making Light. Over the period 2020 to 2022, the site slowly succumbed to technical problems that were beyond our ability to fix, eventually vanishing from sight. As of January 2023 we’ve had the good fortune to secure technical support that will bring the whole site back, including posts and comments dating back to 2000, and will also help us maintain it going forward. More on this soon.
—with both of us, in the May 2013 issue of Locus
, the definitive trade magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field. A few excerpts from it can be read on Locus’s site
, and here’s a bit more of it:
PNH: “I don’t know how it’s all going to work out, but I’ve always had a sense that the things I am actually good at, which is wading through a lot of stuff and saying, ‘Check this out, this is good’—somebody’s going to be willing to pay for that because I’m pretty good at it. And it cannot be automated.”
TNH: “Actually, there’s one way it can be. I find this very interesting. The fanfic universe is a very inventive place, and worth watching because there’s so much of it and they’re so good at teaching one another to write. The quality of top-level fanfic is now well into the publishable range.”
PNH: “We’re talking about amateur fiction written in someone else’s universe. I clarify this only because the word ‘fanfic’ has meant so many different things historically.”
TNH: “Go to somewhere like Archive Of Our Own, AO3, and what they’ve got are very sophisticated sorting mechanisms. People recommend and bookmark stories, and give each other kudos for good writing, and you can tell the database ‘search for this, this, and that characteristic, and give me the matching stuff with the most hits.’ Personal opinion is variable, but if you get enough people voting for something, the stuff that comes to the top will be good. And since commercial publishers can’t skim off the cream, there’s no limit on how good it can be. There’s an astounding amount of energy and intellectual ferment going on in the fanfic universe.”
PNH: “Our competition at Tor isn’t Ace or Del Rey or Simon & Schuster. They’re part of it, but the real competition is all the other things you can do with your time these days instead of reading books, many of which are really high-quality and terrific things to do. The task is staying interesting in the face of all that. Anybody who’s our age—I’m 53 and she’s 56—we were kids and teenagers in the ’60s and ’70s, so we’re the last or second to last generation who can remember being bored kids with nothing to do.”