After months of drama, Night Shade Books is going to have a future. The independent publisher has been rocked with financial difficulties over the last couple of years, finding itself unable to pay its authors and facing editorial problems and delays with their books under contract.
Mediabistro has reported that Skyhorse/Start Publishing will acquire Night Shade’s backlog and continue to publish its works, with its former owners acting as consultants.
Earlier this year, the news broke that Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing were interested in acquiring the entirety of Night Shade’s backlist, with the intention of entering the science fiction and fantasy market. Several years ago, the company acquired Arcade Publishing’s books, bringing them a line of fiction and non-fiction novels.
Night Shade Books has been one of the major voices in the Science Fiction and Fantasy publishing world, with such works as John Joseph Adam’s Wastelands and Brave New Worlds anthologies, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl and Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha novels published over the years.
In 2010, Night Shade Books was temporarily placed on probationary status by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), citing concerns about contract irregularities. In April of this year, the company was delisted as a qualifying market for the organization, when it admitted it was was facing bankruptcy. The news sparked much debate amongst the SF/F literary circles as authors were offered new terms for their books. SFWA helped to negotiate new terms for the company’s authors.
It’ll be nice to see Night Shade continuing forward under new management. While they faced many challenges in a new book selling world, they often published high quality fiction, and we’ll be interested to see what happens with them next.