Nov 11, 2009
After working his way up through the publishing trade during the 1950s and 1960s, Tom Doherty became publisher of Tempo Books in 1972 and later Ace Books. In 1980 he established his own publishing firm Tom Doherty Associates Inc., with the help of several investors including silent partner Richard Gallen (of Dell Emerald Books fame), and with it the Tor Books imprint.
Early Tor titles included Norton’s Forerunner; Fred Saberhagen’s Water of Thought; Poul Anderson’s Winners, Starship, Explorations and Guardians of Time; Keith Laumer’s The Breaking Earth, Beyond the Imperium, and The House in November; Harry Harrison’s Planet of No Return and Planet of the Damned; Roger Zelazny and Fred Saberhagen’s Coils; and Steve Barnes and Larry Niven’s Belial
Honours during the early/mid eighties included The Prometheus Award for The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith (1982) and the Nebula Award for Best Novel for Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (1985).
In 1986 Doherty sold his company to St. Martin’s Press and TDA/Tor Books became a division of the larger company. Over time the portion of non-SF "mainstream" titles at Tor grew, to a point where, by 1993, they made up more than half the list. As a result a new imprint, Forge Books, was established in order to better market these titles.
Tom does a much better job of charting the history of his career and these companies than I have here. Listen and learn how and why he has enjoyed such success; you can just tell how much fun he’s had in the business.