The Geomancer


The Future of Pyr: Outlook Good

On April 19, 2004, Prometheus Books announced it was launching Pyr, a science fiction and fantasy imprint that would publish its first title the following spring. At that time, Prometheus was entering its thirty-fifth year as an independent publisher of nonfiction, with popular science being one of its core categories. The company felt that there would be a natural connection to this genre, noting the long history of mutual inspiration and admiration between science nonfiction and speculative fiction.

Lou Anders was hired as Pyr’s editorial director. Guided by his vision, and charting new waters for the parent press, the Pyr imprint achieved many successes but was not immune to misses, either. Over the years, there were many award-winning moments and sales successes—and some missteps and disappointments, too. Anders embraced an additional role as the face, and often, spokesperson, of Pyr—a role at which he excelled. But from day one, many people worked to build the Pyr brand. Every book Anders acquired (just as those acquired by our nonfiction and later, crime fiction, editors) became the responsibility of the entire Prometheus Books team. Many dedicated marketers, editors, publicists, designers, typesetters, and production and sales staff contributed creativity, ideas, and hard work to each Pyr book and series we published.

As all parents of ten year-olds will recognize, young tweens have a powerful desire to separate from the direction a caretaker has always provided and want nothing more than to blaze their own trail regardless of any stumbles that may occur in doing so.  With Lou Anders’s departure, it would be a mistake to assume that Pyr, at age ten, cannot potentially benefit from some fresh independence and room to be guided by other voices.

Rene Sears has been part of our professional family for quite some time and is uniquely qualified to shepherd Pyr projects through this time of transition and growth. (She has such familiarity with our list and the genre as a whole that she’s been a valuable information-font at our DragonCon booths. We missed her there this year!) Prometheus Books is so happy to welcome her into this role and we have already had encouraging discussions on cover direction, author and agent relationships, manuscript readiness, and other matters.  We are quite confident in her abilities to help our ten-year-old imprint navigate this separation and become even more self-sufficient and strong.

Pyr’s goal from day one was to seek to provide books of a consistently high quality. Looking ahead we have many titles that excite, including next week’s release of FALLING SKY by Rajan Khanna, April’s SUPERPOSITION by David Walton, and BLACK HEART: THE BARROW, BOOK TWO by Mark Smylie in August 2015.

We’ve recently heard from independent booksellers that their customers are hungry for science fiction again, despite the predominance of fantasy over these last several years.  That’s encouraging. National retailers have indicated they see a resurgence in space opera—a category in which we’ve not only published before but one in which we have a new series starting in December with THE FORTRESS IN ORION (Dead Enders, Book One) by Mike Resnick. Also, good news.

Our 2004 press release announcing the Pyr launch included this aim: "With Pyr, we’ll be looking to create science fiction for the Next Age.” After ten years of proudly bearing Anders's personal stamp, Pyr is ready for its next age. We thank all our readers, and authors, for their continued support.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you've sold me!! "...looking to create science fiction for the Next Age." Yep, I'm board with that! This particular book-lover never stopped being hungry for Science Fiction.

    --Kevin Bayer for