Podcast #43 is now available for download here.
Award-winning editor David G. Hartwell was a guest lecturer at Odyssey 2010, where he spoke on a variety of subjects authors need to know to survive and thrive in the publishing world. In this podcast, David discusses story titles and pseudonyms. A good title can make a story stand out, not only to editors but to readers, as they scan down the contents page of a magazine or anthology. A good title may relate to the themes of the story. It can even suggest to the reader how to read the story, or suggest to the author how to revise the story to make it stronger and more unified. A bad title confuses or turns off the reader. For example, a title that makes sense only after the reader has finished the story is generally not a good idea. A title with unfamiliar words is weak and may turn off readers, bookstores, and book distributors. David also discusses pseudonyms. He explains the different reasons you may want to use a pseudonym, as well as some of the questions you should ask yourself before making that decision.
David G. Hartwell is an American editor of science fiction and fantasy. He has worked for Signet (1971-1973), Berkley Putnam (1973-1978), Pocket (where he founded the Timescape imprint, 1978-1983, and created the Pocket Books Star Trek publishing line), and Tor (where he spearheaded Tor’s Canadian publishing initiative, and was also influential in bringing many Australian writers to the US market, 1984-present), and has published numerous anthologies.
Each year he edits The Year’s Best Science Fiction (started in 1996 and co-edited with Kathryn Cramer since 2002) and The Year’s Best Fantasy (co-edited with Cramer since its first publication in 2001). Both anthologies have consistently placed in the top 10 of the Locus annual reader poll in the category of Best Anthology. In 1988, he won the World Fantasy Award in the category Best Anthology for The Dark Descent. He has been nominated for the Hugo Award in the category of Best Professional Editor and Best Editor Long Form on numerous occasions, and won in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He has also won the Eaton Award and the World Fantasy Award.
He edited the best-novel Nebula Award-winners Timescape by Gregory Benford (1980), The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe (1981), and No Enemy But Time by Michael Bishop (1982), and the best-novel Hugo Award-winner Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer (2002).
Since 1995, his title at Tor/Forge Books has been “Senior Editor.” He chairs the board of directors of the World Fantasy Convention, is on the board of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, and, with Gordon Van Gelder, is the administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award. He holds a Ph.D. in comparative medieval literature.
He lives in Pleasantville and Westport, New York with his wife Kathryn Cramer and their two children.