Beth Meacham

A Brief Biography

I was born in Newark, Ohio, on November 14, 1951. I attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where I studied Communications and met my husband, Tappan King. We were married in 1978.

In 1976 Tappan and I collaborated on a novel, Nightshade, which was published in the Weird Heros series from Pyramid. We were also regular reviewers for the SF Review Monthly, published by Baird Searles and Martin Last.

In 1978 I went to work for the Science Fiction Shop in New York City. I also freelanced to the sf publishing world as a first reader, copywriter and editor, and worked with Ian Summers on the art books he was packaging at that time. I wrote Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials and DiFate's Catalog of Science Fiction Hardware, as well as working with the artists on research and design.

In 1980 Tappan and I bought a house on Staten Island, which we rehabbed over the next eight years. I learned to do carpentry, plumbing, plastering, wiring and woodwork refinishing. Our neighbors included Lucius Shepard, Maureen McHugh, Terri Windling, Mark Arnold, Craig Spector, and Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

In 1981 I was offered the job of editorial assistant to Susan Allison and Terri Windling at Ace, and took it. Within a year I was promoted to Editor, and when Ace was bought by Berkley, I continued editing the Ace sf list while Terri handled the fantasy.

In late 1983 Ian Ballantine introduced me to Tom Doherty (who had left Ace a year before I'd gotten there to found his own company). I started working for Tom in February of 1984, first as Senior Editor of the Tor Books sf line, and later as Editor in Chief of the company, after Harriet McDougal asked to cut back her responsibilities.

Tor was purchased by St. Martin's Press in 1987, and my corporate responsibilities grew to the point where I was no longer editing more than a few books a year. I found this quite dissatisfying; I was also beginning to suffer quite seriously from arthritis, which was aggravated by the weather in the Northeast. In 1989 I arranged with Tom Doherty to resign my position as Editor in Chief, but continue working full time for Tor as an executive editor, and do it from the Southwest. In the fall of 1989 Tappan and I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where we continue to live very happily with our two cats and three horses.

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