The Book Ferret: The Science Fiction Gateway

In September, Gollancz publishers will launch the SF Gateway, the world largest digital science fiction and fantasy library, making thousands of out-of-print titles by classic genre authors available for sale as eBooks.

From Gollancz’s press release for the SF Gateway:

Building on the remarkable success of Gollancz’s Masterworks series, the SF Gateway will launch this Autumn with more than a thousand titles by close to a hundred authors. It will build to 3,000 titles by the end of 2012, and 5,000 or more by 2014. Gollancz’s Digital Publisher Darren Nash, who joined the company in September 2010 to spearhead the project said, “The Masterworks series has been extraordinarily successful in republishing one or two key titles by a wide range of authors, but most of those authors had long careers in which they wrote dozens of novels which had fallen out of print. It seemed to us that eBooks would offer the ideal way to make them available again. This realization was the starting point for the SF Gateway.” Wherever possible, the SF Gateway will offer the complete backlist of the authors included.

The SF Gateway will be closely integrated with the recently announced new online edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which provides an independent and definitive reference source of information on the authors and books included. Direct links between the Encyclopedia and the Gateway will provide easy access to eBook editions, for sale through all major online retailers.

The Gateway site will also act as a major community hub and social network for SF readers across the world, allowing them to interact with each other and recommend titles and authors. The site is planned to include forums, blogs, regular promotions, and is envisaged to become the natural home on the net for anyone with an interest in classic SFF.

Authors featured in the launch include such names as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Alice B. Sheldon (James Tiptree, Jr), Robert Silverberg, Kate Wilhelm and Connie Willis.

If you’re as excited about this as I am, you can follow the SF Gateway on Twitter @SFGateway and go to their website, which doesn’t have much content at the moment, but does allow you to sign up for their newsletter, which means you’ll be notified when the library is launched (64 days to go, from today!). The full press release can be downloaded on the website and includes a list of SF Gateway authors as at 20 July 2011.

A little more information was provided in some of their tweets:

Pricing? TBA closer to launch so that we can be sure we’re in line with prevailing market trend, but competitive & value for money.

Formats? The usual. SF Gateway eBooks will be available through all the usual retail channels. Whatever you’re reading on now will be fine.

On whether or not eBooks will be limited to some countries or regions: Some will. It depends on the rights we’ve been able to acquire.

On DRM: They’ll be sold through the usual retail channels, so same as the majority of commercial eBooks.


The Book Ferret is a Violin in a Void feature that will showcase interesting book-related finds – gadgets, websites, book stores, events, cover art, quotes, new releases, etc.; anything bookworms would enjoy hearing about.

If you’d like to do your own Book Ferret post, grab the, link it back here, and let me know about it in the comments. I’ll be sure to mention your post in my next Book Ferret.

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