. . . Ever wonder what editors are looking for?
First and foremost, I’m looking for a variety of voices, with authenticity being the key. Whether it’s gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or a combination of those, we’re looking for more authors and characters that show the rich, diverse nature of the SFF community.
Second, I’m looking towards space. Big, galactic empire space opera. Small, one ship, one crew adventure. Military battles, both amongst the stars and boots on an alien planet. “Real science” and practically fantastical. The key is space.
Third, I’m interested in more contemporary fantasy, which is a weird term, because it’s not necessarily modern, per se. Basically, I’m looking for real world fantasy with a focus on magic. Whether low-magic, high drama or tons of magic and action, I’m game. Same goes for purely charming, or darkly sinister.
I want the books on my list to offer readers a wide array of histories, legends and mythologies to explore, but more importantly, I want my worlds shaped by real cultures, events, and traditions. Storytelling has long been a means of connecting people, and now, more than ever, that feels vital. As you may have guessed, I adore historical fantasy and alternate histories.
I am hungry for all things fairytale and fable-esque. Whether it’s a retelling with a twist, or a voice, character or setting that harkens to a classic, I am looking for fantasy that enchants me. Dark edges and shadows are perfectly acceptable.
If your world is set in the stars, I tend to care most about the characters—I love a pervading sense of adventure, but think fewer epic battles and more complicated interactions between a single crew. I’m also interested in more voice-driven dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction.
Not everything needs to be larger than life, overrun with quests and creatures, though. I am also on the hunt for magical realism, everyday stories with just a drop of the supernatural, but full of charm and heart.
I’m a sucker for romance, so whatever the story, if it has a compelling romantic thread (one that adds to the plot, but isn’t the entire focus of the plot), I’m thrilled.
More than anything, I would love to read more speculative fiction in translation. I firmly believe that any given literary era thrives when there’s a great influx of voices, and as of now, very little foreign sf/f is being translated into English. So if you have a translator hidden within you, please pick up a pen and translate your favorite foreign novel.
Additionally, I’m looking for dystopian eco-fiction. Interesting, dark, twisted cli-fi with convincing science. More than ever, I think eco-fiction is an important genre—global warming has become one of the most pressing issues of our century, and I would love to see new takes on what that might lead to in the near and far future.
Last but not least: I want to read more novellas! Many people simply don’t have time to read some of the really good, longer novels that we publish. A lot can be said in a few words, and I, like many others, certainly like reading a story in one sitting.
. . . So, to sum up: every editor has their own unique taste, but all the Harper Voyager editors are looking for timely stories that can transform conversations and inspire readers.