Tor Books

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Tor Books
Tor Books 2016.jpg
Parent companyMacmillan
Founded1980; 38 years ago (1980)
FounderTom Doherty
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationFlatiron Building, New York City
DistributionMacmillan (US)
Melia Publishing Services (UK)[1]
Key peopleTom Doherty
Publication typesBooks, E-books
ImprintsForge, Starscape, Tor Teen, Orb,

Tor Books is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a publishing company based in New York City. It primarily publishes science fiction and fantasy titles, and publishes the online science fiction magazine


The Tor Books logo used until 2015.

Tor was founded by Tom Doherty in 1980. Tor is a word from Old English meaning the peak of a rocky hill or mountain,[2] as depicted in Tor's logo.[3] Tor Books was sold to St. Martin's Press in 1987. Along with St. Martin's Press; Henry Holt; and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, it became part of the Holtzbrinck group, now part of Macmillan in the US.[4]


Tor is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates.[5] There is also the Forge imprint that publishes an array of fictional titles, including historical novels and thrillers. Tor Books also publishes two imprints for young readers: Starscape (for readers 10 years of age and up) and Tor Teen (for readers 13 years of age and up).[6] Tor Books also has the imprint that focuses on short works such as novellas, shorter novels and serializations.[7]

A United Kingdom sister imprint, Tor UK, also exists and specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, while also publishing young-adult crossover fiction based on computer-game franchises.[5] Tor UK briefly maintained an open submission policy, which ended in January 2013.[8]

Orb Books publishes science-fiction classics such as A.E. Van Vogt's Slan.

Tor Teen publishes young-adult novels such as Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and repackages novels such as Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game for younger readers.

Tor Labs produces podcasts.[9]

A German sister imprint, Fischer Tor, was founded in August 2016 as an imprint of S. Fischer Verlag (which also belongs to Holtzbrinck Publishing Group).[10] It publishes international titles translated into German, as well as original German works. Fischer Tor also publishes the German online magazine Tor Online, which is based on the same concept as the English online magazine, but has its own independent content.[10]


Authors published by Tor and Forge include Kevin J. Anderson, Steven Brust, Orson Scott Card, Jonathan Carroll, Charles de Lint, Philip K. Dick, Cory Doctorow, Steven Erikson, Terry Goodkind, Steven Gould, Brian Herbert, Glen Hirshberg, Robert Jordan, Andre Norton, Harold Robbins, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, V. E. Schwab, Skyler White, and Gene Wolfe.[6]

Tor UK has published authors such as Douglas Adams, Rjurik Davidson, Amanda Hocking, China Miéville, Adam Nevill, and Adrian Tchaikovsky.[5]


Tor publishes a range of its works as e-books and, in 2012, Doherty announced that his imprints would sell only DRM-free e-books by July of that year.[11] One year later, Tor stated that the removal of DRM had not harmed its e-book business, so they would continue selling them DRM-free.[12]

In July 2018, Macmillan Publishers and Tor announced that Tor's e-books would no longer be made available for libraries to purchase and lend to borrowers, via digital distribution services such as OverDrive, until four months after their initial publication date.[13] The company cited the "direct and adverse impact" of electronic lending on retail eBook sales, but suggested that the change was part of a "test program" and could be reevaluated.[13][14]


Tor won the Locus Magazine poll for best science fiction publisher in 29 consecutive years from 1988 to 2016 inclusive.[15]

In March 2014, Worlds Without End listed Tor as the second-most awarded and nominated publisher of science fiction, fantasy and horror books, after Gollancz.[16] At that time, Tor had received 316 nominations and 54 wins for 723 published novels, written by 197 authors.[16] In the following year, Tor surpassed Gollancz to become the top publisher on the list.[17]

By March 2018, Tor's record had increased to 579 nominations and 111 wins, across 16 tracked awards given in the covered genres, with a total of 2,353 published novels written by 576 authors.[18]


  1. ^ "List of client publishers". Melia Publishing Services. Archived from the original on 2017-12-27.
  2. ^ "tor". Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  3. ^ Mangu-Ward, Katherine (December 2008). "Tor's Worlds Without Death or Taxes". Reason. Archived from the original on 2017-08-11.
  4. ^ "Tor Books". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. December 20, 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-03-21.
  5. ^ a b c "About Tor UK – A Blog from the Tor UK Team and Authors". Tor UK. Pan Macmillan. 2014. Archived from the original on July 24, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Tor/Forge". MacMillan Publishers. Macmillan. 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-11-28.
  7. ^ "Announcing the Imprint". Macmillan. May 28, 2014. Archived from the original on 2018-01-24.
  8. ^ "Submitting a Novel to Tor UK". Blogs – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Pan Macmillan. January 29, 2013. Archived from the original on 2018-03-21.
  9. ^ Liptak, Andrew (May 2, 2017). "Tor Books announces a new fiction imprint dedicated to experimental storytelling". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2017-09-24.
  10. ^ a b "Fischer Tor". S. Fischer Verlage (in German). 2016. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Tor/Forge E-book Titles to Go DRM-Free". Macmillan. April 24, 2012. Archived from the original on 2018-03-09.
  12. ^ Geuss, Megan (May 4, 2013). "Tor Books says cutting DRM out of its e-books hasn't hurt the business – A look at the sci-fi publisher a year after it announced it would do away with DRM". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2018-03-21. Early this week, Tor Books, a subsidiary of Tom Doherty Associates and the world's leading publisher of science fiction, gave an update on how its decision to do away with Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes has impacted the company. Long story short: it hasn't, really.
  13. ^ a b Hoffelder, Nate (July 19, 2018). "Updated: Tor Books is Now Windowing Library eBooks". The Digital Reader. Archived from the original on 2018-08-27.
  14. ^ "Statement Release Regarding TOR Digital Books". Upper Arlington Public Library. July 17, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-25.
  15. ^ "Locus Award Winners by Category – Publishers". The Science Fiction Awards Database. Archived from the original on 2017-09-04.
  16. ^ a b "Top Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (SF/F/H) Publishers". Worlds Without End. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-03-31.
  17. ^ "Top Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (SF/F/H) Publishers". Worlds Without End. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-03-22.
  18. ^ "Top Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (SF/F/H) Publishers". Worlds Without End. 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-03-21.

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