Ruoxi Chen

Tor Publishing Group / Macmillan

My Manuscript Wish List

I acquire for the Tor Publishing Group, and am interested in a wide range of speculative fiction for the adult market—from core science fiction and fantasy to literary crossover. Some touchstone authors include Octavia Butler, Dorothy Dunnett, Kelly Link, Mary Renault, and N. K. Jemisin. I’m a sucker for unexpected retellings and works that slip between genres. Bring me a translatio imperii narrative about orisha, Meng Jiang Nu in space, Cleopatra in a fantasy of manners. Right now, I’m particularly interested in the following:

—Fantasy that kisses mythology with precise, confident narratives that turn on themselves like Megan Whalen Turner’s The King of Attolia, Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant, and Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi

—Queer speculative fiction that fluidly mixes genres and treats its characters with care (even if they are very much not preserved from danger) like Ryka Aoki’s The Light from Uncommon Stars, Alison Rumfitt’s Tell Me I’m Worthless, and Kai Ashante Wilson’s Sorcerer of the Wildeeps

—Immersive, fresh worlds that evoke new myths being made like Kerstin Hall’s The Border Keeper, N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and A. K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name. 

—Crossover SF/F (into literary, romance, thriller, can’t put your finger on it etc.) with vivid prose and worldbuilding/scene-setting used to amplify a strong, central relationship like Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War, Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds, Scott Hawkins’ The Library at Mount Char, and Helene Wrecker’s The Golem and the Jinni.

—A specific ask I have yet to find: I’d love to see an exceptional witch book that charms me and knocks me off my feet, whether in the one sidestep from our own contemporary world vein of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks, or Mona Awad’s Bunny, or further afield like Alix Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches and Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching. If your witches are queer, from outside the European tradition, working their magic in the diaspora (or all of the above!), you especially have my attention.

I prefer my narratives subversive, my fantasy postcolonial, and my families found. I’ve had the joy of editing authors who have won the World Fantasy Award, the Crawford Award, the Alex Award, the Astounding Award, and the Hugo Award, among others. I’ve been lucky enough to debut authors such as Emily Tesh, Freya Marske, Zin E. Rocklyn, and Nghi Vo, and to work with voices like P. Djèlí Clark, Sarah Gailey, Seth Dickinson, Alexandra Rowland, and Tochi Onyebuchi on new projects.

I actively seek submissions—both novellas and novels—from authors from underrepresented backgrounds. Above all and regardless of subgenre, I’m looking for compelling characters and voices that will haunt me long past the last page.

Submission Guidelines

Vital Info

Editor
Fiction: Action/Adventure, Family Saga, Fantasy, Horror, LGBTQ, Literary, Science Fiction, Short Story

Favorite sub-genres: Diaspora Narratives, Epic Fantasy, Fabulism, Fantasy Grounded in Reality, Gothic Fantasy, High Concept, High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Literary Fantasy, Literary Science Fiction, Low Fantasy, Magical Realism, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, romantic fantasy
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