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On the sixth day of Christmas…

The 30th of December. It’s somehow not quite Christmas any more, it’s not quite the New Year either, so it seems a marvellous day to look back at the year 2011 . . . and it’s been quite a year for Gollancz! So here are six of our highlights from the past twelve months . . .

1) Our 50th birthday party – it’s extraordinary to think that the Gollancz SF list is 50 years old! In that time the list has published some amazing authors, including Arthur C. Clarke, William Gibson, Terry Pratchett, Alastair Reynolds, George Orwell, Gene Wolfe and many, many more. We’ve only had seven Editorial Directors. Our authors have been nominated for more than 300 awards. And we’ve become the UK’s #1 Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint. This year we had a wonderful opportunity to thank everyone who has helped give Gollancz 50 years of success – and to look forward to another 50 at least!

2) Our new Editor, Marcus Gipps, is another highlight of 2011. He’s been incredibly busy, with a new job, moving house and becoming a father all in the same year – and what’s more, has taken to publishing like an Editor to . . . well . . . editing! His authors include Robert Scott, Mary Gentle and Jon Sprunk, to name just a few – and watch this space, as next year he publishes two perfectly fabulous debut authors: Michael Ward, and Adam Dalton! Gollancz is a better place for having him, and Marcus joining us is a definite highlight of the year. Follow him on twitter @marcusgipps.

3) Bestsellers! Here at Gollancz towers we have had an extraordinary run of bestsellers in 2011. At Number 1 in the Hardback charts, we had the inimitable Charlaine Harris and her wonderful novel Dead Reckoning. We saw Patrick Rothfuss take Number 2 in the Hardback charts, with his brilliant and longingly-anticipated novel The Wise Man’s Fear. At Number 3 in the charts – a really phenomenal result – Joe Abercrombie became the first UK fantasy author to make the bestseller lists since David Gemmell, with the bloody and marvellous The Heroes. And finally, Ben Aaronovitch stormed the bestseller lists not once but twice this year, placing at an astonishing Number 8 in the charts with his debut novel Rivers of London, and sliding in at Number 10 three months later with the sequel Moon Over Soho. Congratulations to them all!

4) We (or more accurately, the wonderful Darren Nash, our Digital Publisher) launched the SFGateway. This is a completely unique ebook project, bringing together the most comprehensive and brilliant collection of SF and Fantasy ebooks ever in one place – and more, doing so in style, and in association with the Science Fiction Encyclopaedia. It launched earlier this year and is the destination for all your SF ebook needs. It has more than 1,000 ebooks available, and it’s growing all the time!

5) It’s also been a marvellous year for awards. Connie Willis won the Hugo Award for her extraordinary time travel duology Blackout and All Clear. Brandon Sanderson won the Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel, for the wonderful The Way of Kings. Ben Aaronovitch was nominated for Best New Author by the Galaxy Book Awards – the nomination alone being a considerable honour! And finally, ten Gollancz titles were chosen by the voting public as being the best of the list, including The Time Machine, Dune, Hyperion, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and The Name of the Wind. You can read more about them all here. Congratulations to each of our prestigious 2011 award winners!

6) And finally . . . we were absolutely thrilled to launch our very own blog, and a brand new Dark Fantasy newsletter this year. Which newsletter, you say? Only the best newsletter there is to bring you news, interviews, updates and all the latest extracts from the best Dark Fantasy authors in the genre! If you love Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Suzanne McLeod, and all dark and vampirilicious fiction, it’s a must read! Sign up here to get it all, delivered straight to your inbox.

. . . and did someone say which blog? This blog, of course! It’s always been important to the Gollancz team, and the Gollancz list, to communicate with readers and share our excitement about our books and authors, and we’re thrilled to have this amazing new way to do it. We owe huge thanks to the wonderful Jen McMenemy for both blog and newsletter; she’s the person who makes it happen and looks after them (and us!) in fabulous style . . . and we owe thanks to everyone who visits and interacts with our blog, and reads the newsletter. We hope to bring you even bigger and better posts, previews, interviews and sneak peeks in 2012!

Did I miss a highlight? Leave a comment to let us know if you had a favourite Gollancz moment in 2011!