Ellen Asher

Ellen Asher is an American science fiction editor who served as editor-in-chief of the Science Fiction Book Club (SFBC) for thirty-four years, from February 8, 1973, through June 1, 2007.[1] She grew up in New York City and began editing science fiction at New American Library from 1970 to 1972.[2][3]

Ellen Asher
Notable awardsEdward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction, 2001
World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, 2009

As editor-in-chief of the SFBC, she oversaw the publication of anthologies like The Dragon Quintet, Vampire Sextet, Fair Folk, and Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural.[4] In 1984, Asher sat as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards.[5] In 2001, Asher received the New England Science Fiction Association Edward E. Smith Memorial Award.[6] In early 2007, the multinational media corporation, Bertelsmann, bought a controlling portion of Bookspan, of which the SFBC is an affiliate.[7] In the subsequent restructuring, Asher was given an early retirement.[8]

Asher received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2009 and was a guest of honor at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention.[9] She occasionally performs some freelance work.[4]


  1. Strock, Ian (2007-07-22). "Ellen Asher Leaving Science Fiction Book Club". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  2. "Readercon 20 Program Guide" (PDF). Readercon. p. 41. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  3. Asher, Ellen (2009-04-07). Datlow, Ellen (ed.). Clubbing. Penguin Books. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-451-46255-8.
  4. "Guest of Honor - Ellen Asher". Renovation. Archived from the original on 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  5. "1984 World Fantasy Awards". Locus. Archived from the original on 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  6. "The E. E. Smith Memorial Award". New England Science Fiction Association. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  7. Strock, Ian (2007-04-11). "Bertelsmann buys TimeWarner's half of Bookspan". Archived from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  8. Strock, Ian (2007-05-22). "Bertelsmann cutting book clubs and jobs; SFBC may be affected". Archived from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  9. "Award Winners & Nominees". World Fantasy Convention. Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
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