In my first Hal Duncan article, in which I detailed Duncan’s obscene foul-up, where he equated Zionism with fascism and Muslim extremism on an old Night Shade Books Discussion Forum thread from 2005, the self-same thread where liberal Aussie writer Anna Tambour posted up approvingly an article on ‘greedy Jews’ from a Muslim extremist website; I made mention of just why anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and gave some examples of famous Zionists (and infamous anti-Zionists). I pointed out that one of these famous Zionist Jews, and one of the most important Zionists in the UK was Jewish publisher Victor Gollancz. Gollancz was also one of the most important and influential British publishers, founder of the eponymous Victor Gollancz publishing house. As is frequently the case in the world of publishing the last few decades, the VG publishing company has been bought and sold, merged, acquired blabla by the bigger conglomorates. It is now a part of Orion Books/publishing.
Yet the relevance of Gollancz to science fiction is that the Gollancz Imprint is the most notable and influential publisher of science fiction in the United Kingdom. It publishes the SF Masterworks series, and now the Fantasy Masterworks series.
There is also the Gollancz Blog over here, which lists their authors, titles, news etc. They include everybody from P K Dick, Robert Silverberg, Robert J Sawyer and Paul McAuley to Gene Wolf.
Gollancz Science Fiction A Short History tells us:
Gollancz’s science fiction and fantasy imprint, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011, is the longest-established such publishing line in the UK.
Also we are informed that:
…in 1961, Gollancz’s editor Hilary Rubinstein originated the science fiction list by publishing Kingsley Amis’s New Maps of Hell, a survey of the sf scene based on lectures given by Amis at Princeton University. On the strength of Amis’s recommendation, the company soon published J G Ballard’s The Drowned World (1962). This novel, the first to make Ballard’s name, set the stage for a much more ambitious programme. Soon, Gollancz was publishing more than 20 sf hardcovers per year, and their distinctive yellow jackets marked out the company’s books in many libraries and collections. Authors included both Americans such as Robert Heinlein and Ursula Le Guin, and British authors such as Arthur C Clarke and Harry Harrison. As fantasy grew in popularity, the list – originally oriented mostly towards sf – became a home for authors such as Terry Pratchett and Peter Dickinson as well. 1983-4 was a particularly rich time for Gollancz: its publications included Robert Holdstock’s World Fantasy Award-winning Mythago Wood, Mary Gentle’s best-selling Golden Witchbreed, and the world first hardcover of William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. In the 1980s, Gollancz began moving fully into paperback as well as hardback sf publishing, with a “Classic SF” reprint line and a mass-market “VGSF” imprint.
As I wrote in the Hal Duncan article on Gollancz:
… started the Gollancz publishing house. Yes the same one that gives us the Gollancz SF Imprint. You know probably the most prestigious science fiction publisher in the UK. … Gollancz probably did more to alert the British public to the horrors of the Nazi extermination of Jewry during World War 2 than any other British Jew and any other Brit, with the possible exception of Eleanor Rathbone. Gollancz was appointed governor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was working on a book that was never completed, entitled The Necessity of Zionism. He in fact did publish extensively on Jewish issues. Gollancz is one of the most famous and important Diaspora Jewish Zionists of the twentieth century. So in the world according to Duncan, Gollancz was a rabid fascist.
Gollancz’s uncompleted magnun opus The Necessity of Zionism was clearly such a vital part of his life, and his heartfelt trauma in response to the horrors of the Holocaust.
From a piece at AbeBooks on Gollancz:
Gollancz (1893-1967) studied the classics at Oxford University and during World War I began his life in publishing when he joined Ernest Benn’s firm where he made his name as a high flyer by recruiting writers like Edith Nesbit and H. G. Wells. In 1927, he set up his own publishing house and his career took off.
He signed up Orwell, Ford Madox Ford and Daphne Du Maurier. Orwell was particularly influential at this time, publishing Down and Out in Paris and London, A Clergyman’s Daughter and Keep the Aspidistra Flying while with Gollancz.
Also from a George Orwell site, some interesting facts on the man. http://georgeorwellnovels.com/reference/victor-gollancz/
In 1936, Gollancz was a co-founder of the Left Book Club with the intention of halting the growth of Fascism in Europe and promoting socialism. Every month, Gollancz recommended a left-leaning book and members received the book for a discounted price of two shillings and six pence. The first selection was France Today and the People’s Front by Maurice Thorez, a French Communist. The Left Book Club had 45,000 members within 12 months and hundreds of local groups met and debated the books up and down Britain. With Fascism defeated, the Left Book Club was closed down in 1948.
Gollancz also wrote himself and was a very active political campaigner. His 1943 pamphlet Let My People Go lobbied for the Allies to help the European Jews being exterminated by the Nazis in the occupied countries. During this period of time, where the existence of the Holocaust was not accepted by many of the Allied leaders, Gollancz worked ceaselessly for his fellow Jews.
The only biography it would appear of Gollancz was authored by Ruth Dudley Edwards.
I did not know this until very recently, but Gollancz publishing/books – despite being a major and innovative power house in British publishing even in the 1960s – is now solely a genre imprint! I wonder what Gollancz himself would make of that?!
Somebody want to tell all this to British anti-Zionist liberal genre writer Richard Morgan (whose numero uno hero journalist John Pilger is a self-admitted admirer and supporter of Hezbollah, when not waxing on Jewish conspiracy theories), whose latest book Dark Defiles is published by Orion/Gollancz. And what of all the anti-Zionist British liberal genre writers and fans out there? From the anti-Zionist and staunch anti-Semite China Mieville (not a Gollancz author as far as I know!) to Paul Graham Raven, and all the idiot genre Court Jews, pathetically ingratiating themselves with the left-wing genre (and non-genre for that matter) anti-Zionists (aka anti-Semites) in their midst.
In closing I would be amiss to fail to mention a low point in Gollancz’s otherwise admirable and brave career and life.
He refused to publish Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, despite having published Orwell’s other books, given its criticisms of the communists in Spain (the self-same communists that Gollancz cherished dearly). Orwell moved to Secker and Warburg who published the book, and Orwell’s subsequent works such as Animal Farm and 1984.
Gollancz was knighted in 1965.