Juliet Ulman, arch-editor

When Bantam took on The Etched City, Juliet Ulman was the editor who bought it, and who became the second editor, after Trent Jamieson, who worked on that book. When I asked her why she bought it, she told me that it was like the stuffed mongoose (I think it was a mongoose) that you see in a secondhand shop and just have to have. Juliet was always willing to take on books that were out of the ordinary, such as Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales, and worked hard and cunningly to bring her projects to the attention of readers. I admired her in all her capacities as an editor, from her understanding approach to the shaping of a text to her decisions on cover art and packaging.

Unfortunately, when the economic slump hit the publishing industry, some talented editors lost their positions, Juliet amongst them. Her departure from Bantam was definitely a blow to the science fiction / fantasy field and its writers. She now runs her own editing firm, Paper Tyger, in which I and, I’m sure, all her other writers wish her great success.

Jeff VanderMeer recently interviewed Juliet about her career, the work of an editor, and the current state of publishing. There are some more tributes from writers on Jeff’s blog.

7 thoughts on “Juliet Ulman, arch-editor

  1. Sometimes I have this feeling that all these people I know online on different levels, whose posts and blogs and books I stalk know each other.

    Must be the books I read. ^^

    Being compared to a stuffed mongoose is a good thing? 😀

  2. Oh, and for some reason the comments box has dropped off the old posts, so I can’t reply to your comment on The Man in the Moon. But I agree with you on personality being a “network” effect, and to varying degrees performative (is performance ever *completely* absent from personality)? I tend to get uncomfortable when there are serious disjuncts between different areas of the network, though. Thanks for the kind thoughts — and I wouldn’t mind reading that paper!

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