In previous years, I’ve awarded this Juice Box to the editor whom I felt best directed an imprint. To do it any other way is really difficult. While I believe an award for best editor SHOULD go to an editor who best improves the work they buy through actual editing, it’s impossible to judge. I don’t know what books looked like when they were first bought by a publisher and how the editor influenced their development. Thusly, I shall continue on prior course, and look instead to an editor’s sense of editorial direction.
When 2012 began there was one name that kept popping up, Dongwon Song. He’s the man behind Robert Jackson Bennett’s superb The Troupe, TC McCarthy’s Exogene and Chimera, Daniel Abraham’s Dagger & Coin series, James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series, among others. He also left Orbit before most of those books ever hit the streets, joining up with startup Zola Books, an online eBook retailer. But, most of Song’s novels were out by early summer and as the year went on I began to lose sight of his exceptional first half of 2012.
Replacing him was the woman whom I consider the most significant editor of 2012. My reasoning is not dissimilar from that which I applied last year when I named Jeremy Lassen of Night Shade Books my Juice Box Editor of the Year. That is, she has presided over an interesting, fresh, and dynamic list of titles that seems to intentionally incorporate new and diverse voices into the genre. She did it all while standing up an entirely new line in a marketplace riddled (particularly in the UK) with similar imprints.
Her 2012 list included epic fantasies like David Hair’s Mage’s Blood, Aidan Harte’s Irenicon, Evie Manieri’s Blood’s Pride, and Mazarkis William’s Knifesworn, urban fantasies like Tom Pollock’s The City’s Son, magical realism stories like Lisa Tuttle’s The Silver Bough and Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo, and odd clock-work science fictional romps like Ian MacDonald’s Planesrunner and Rod Reeds Demi-Monde. Throw in some paranormal romance by Lynda Hilburn and some horror story collections, and she managed to create a line that has something for every reader, or more importantly something from every genre that any reader will enjoy. Although I’ve not read everything she published this year, I read a great deal of it and I’ve found her editorial vision to be universally insightful.
It’s why, my 2012 Juice Box Award for Editor of the Year goes to:
Jo Fletcher Books has been an exciting development in the genre field this past year. Not only because of the diversity of the line, but the consistent quality. 2013 promises to do just the same with scores of interesting titles on deck. I can’t help but reward the woman behind it all with my Editor of the Year Award.
Congratulations! May you sip your Juice Box until it crumples!