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Victor Gollancz Ltd

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Victor Gollancz Ltd
Victor Gollancz
Parent companyOrion Publishing Group
Founded1927; 97 years ago (1927)
FounderVictor Gollancz
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesBooks
Fiction genresScience fiction, fantasy, horror
Official websitewww.gollancz.co.uk

Victor Gollancz Ltd (/ɡəˈlænts/) was a major British book publishing house of the twentieth century and continues to publish science fiction and fantasy titles as an imprint of Orion Publishing Group.

Gollancz was founded in 1927 by Victor Gollancz, and specialised in the publication of high-quality literature, nonfiction, and popular fiction, including crime, detective, mystery, thriller, and science fiction. Upon Gollancz's death in 1967, ownership passed to his daughter, Livia, who in 1989 sold it to Houghton Mifflin. Three years later in October 1992, Houghton Mifflin sold Gollancz to the publishing house Cassell & Co. Cassell and its parent company Orion Publishing Group were acquired by Hachette in 1996,[1] and in December 1998 the merged Orion/Cassell group turned Gollancz into its science fiction/fantasy imprint.

Origins as a political house[edit]

A Gollancz edition of The Door into Summer, displaying the distinctive yellow dust jacket style

Gollancz was left-inclined in politics and a supporter of socialist movements. This is reflected in some of the call for the books he published. Victor Gollancz commissioned George Orwell to write about the urban working class in the North of England; the result was The Road to Wigan Pier. His break with Orwell came when he declined to publish Orwell's account of the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia, the pair having drifted apart on political grounds. He did publish The Red Army Moves by Geoffrey Cox on the Winter War, which was critical of the Soviet attack on Finland, but also foresaw that the Red Army would defeat the Germans. He also published works by German exiles, such as Hilde Meisel.

Gollancz was the original publisher of a number of authors and their books including:

Many of Gollancz's books were published in one of their familiar house dust jackets, of which the most famous was bright yellow, with the title and author rendered in a vibrant, bold typography.[2]

The Left Book Club, the first book club in the UK, was a publishing group pioneered by Gollancz that exerted a strong left-wing influence in Great Britain from 1936 to 1948. It offered a monthly book choice, for sale to members only, as well as a newsletter that acquired the status of a major political magazine. It also held an annual rally. Membership peaked at 57,000 but it eventually ceased publishing in 1948. The books and pamphlets were published with their distinctive covers — orange for paperback (1936–1938) and red for hardback (1938–1948) editions.

Transition to science fiction and fantasy genres[edit]

From the early 1960s through the late 1990s, Gollancz Science Fiction was the pre-eminent hardcover science fiction publishing list in the UK, for the first quarter century being both recognisable by, and famous for, its distinctive Gollancz Yellow dust-jackets with black and magenta typography, providing a major part of the publisher's output, alongside Gollancz' crime fiction and general fiction lists. Full-colour dust-jackets were introduced on the science fiction list from the mid-1980s adding significantly to production costs, but also to commercial sales - an important consideration with increasing pressure upon the UK's public library system's budgets. In 1998, Gollancz was diminished into just the science fiction and fantasy imprint Gollancz Science Fiction after it was acquired by Orion Publishing Group. Gollancz has also proceeded to publish the SF Masterworks series, and the Fantasy Masterworks series previously appearing under the Orion sister-imprint Millennium. Gollancz has published award-winning and award-nominated books by, among others:[1]

Expansion into manga[edit]

In 2005, Gollancz set up a manga publishing arm, Gollancz Manga, which published UK editions of various Viz Media properties.[3] As of 2014, Gollancz no longer publish manga and Viz Media have re-released the publisher's series.[citation needed]

The following titles have been published:

Case Closed volumes 1–15
Dragon Ball volumes 1–16
Dragon Ball Z volumes 1–4
Fushigi Yūgi volumes 1–17
Flame of Recca volumes 1–10
Maison Ikkoku volumes 1–15
One Piece volumes 1–12
Rurouni Kenshin volumes 1–16
Yu-Gi-Oh! volumes 1–7
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist volumes 1–15

SF Gateway website[edit]

In 2011, Gollancz launched the SF Gateway website, an online library that features out-of-print science fiction books republished as e-books. Gollancz aims to make 5,000 or more books available by 2014 and the website will be integrated with the online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.[4]


In terms of the number of published works that have been nominated for major awards, Gollancz ranks as one of the field's top publishers of science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction.[5]

Book series[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Hachette Australia". hachette.com.au.
  2. ^ Inspiration: Yellow jackets, skinnylaminx.com. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Away in a manga". The Times. 6 August 2005. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  4. ^ Neill, Graeme (20 July 2011). "Gollancz opens sci-fi Gateway to e-books". The Bookseller. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Top SF/F/H Publishers". Worlds Without End.

Further reading[edit]

  • Edwards, Ruth Dudley. Victor Gollancz: A Biography. London: V. Gollancz, 1987. ISBN 0-575-03175-1.
  • Hodges, Sheila. Gollancz: The Story of a Publishing House, 1928–1978. London: V. Gollancz, 1978. ISBN 0-575-02447-X.
  • Williams, Richard and Ralph Spurrier. Gollancz Crime Fiction 1928-1988: A Checklist of the First Editions, with a Guide to their Values. Scunthorpe: Dragonby Press, 1989. ISBN 187112204X.

External links[edit]