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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Changes for the Science Fiction Book Club?!?!


So, I just read about this over at SF Signal, which originally comes from Jonathan Strahan, which is based on an announcement made by Publishers Weekly on Monday. Here’s the basic gist:

Approximately six weeks after it acquired complete ownership of Bookspan, Bertelsmann has initiated a major overhaul of the book club business, a process that will eliminate 280 positions, or about 15% of its workforce of 1,900. As part of integrating Bookspan into BMG Columbia House, an unspecified number of smaller clubs will be closed as will Madison Park Press, the publishing program launched about 18 months ago.”

Speculations are already rampant about what this means for the future of the Science Fiction Book Club, but one rumor is that both Editor-in-Chief Ellen Asher and Senior Editor Andrew Wheeler have lost their positions. If this is true, then I’m terribly saddened for many reasons. First of course, is for any of the families who must suffer due to this awful circumstance. Secondly, being such an advocate of the SFBC, I’m worried about its future, which has had a profound impact on the SF/Fantasy community. Lastly, Andrew was doing great things over at the SFBC Blog, among other things, and if he is unable to continue, he will be sorely missed. At the end of the day, I understand that this is a business, but sometimes life can be immeasurably cruel…

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