Tom Doherty to Receive the 2024 Robert A. Heinlein Award

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) has awarded Tom Doherty—the founder of Tor Publishing Group, which now includes the imprints Tor, Forge, TorDotCom, Starscape, Tor Teen, Nightfire, and Bramble—this year’s Robert A. Heinlein Award.

BSFS gives this annual honor to individuals who create or promote “outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space.” Previous recipients include John Scalzi (2023), Neal Stephenson (2018), Kim Stanley Robinson (2016), Connie Willis (2011), and others, with Michael Flynn and Virginia Heinlein being the first to receive this recognition in 2003.

Doherty received this year’s Heinlein award “in recognition of [his] work in bringing the inspiring books of hundreds of authors writing about our future in Space to public awareness.” In 1980, he left his job as publisher and general manager of the Ace and Tempo divisions of Grossett & Dunlap to start his own imprint, Tor Books, under his own company, Tom Doherty Associates. In 1987, TDA became part of what is now Macmillan Publishing and includes the imprints listed above.

“When I founded the company, our intent was to focus on fiction, often grounded in science past, present, and future, starting with prehistoric fiction—which would be science fiction based on anthropology—and stretching across history and the present into a future which is often extrapolated from possibilities suggested in physics and other scientific fields of today,” Doherty has explained about his career’s focus.

Over the years, books under Tor Publishing Group have won every major award in the science fiction and fantasy space. Doherty has also received other awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Convention, the Solstice Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, and the Thriller Legend Award from the International Thriller Writers.

Doherty will receive the physical Heinlein award—a sterling silver medallion depicting an image of Robert A. Heinlein in profile created by Arlin Robins—at a ceremony on May 24, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. during Balticon 58 in Baltimore, Maryland. icon-paragraph-end

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