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Meet the Team: Anna Jackson, Orbit Publisher

Anna Jackson, Orbit 50

Anna Jackson, Orbit 50

Introducing Anna Jackson, Orbit Publisher

What was your first acquisition or the first book you worked on for Orbit?

I think my first acquisition was Tempest Rising by the lovely Nicole Peeler, which we published back in 2010. It’s a wonderfully fun, sexy urban fantasy about Jane True – a character living in a small-town America who discovers she’s half-selkie. Such a great series with a wicked sense of humour that I have such fond memories of working on! Everyone should instantly go read the whole thing. And selkies will always rule.

What was the first SFF book you were obsessed with as a child?

Does The Worst Witch count? I always wanted to be Mildred Hubble. I also wanted to be a Borrower. Ideally, I would have been born a tiny witch who slept in a matchbox. But you play the cards you’re dealt, and I finally came to terms with being a full-sized, non-magical human being (honest).

Name an Orbit cover that you love?

Oooh… tricky as we have so many great ones, but the cover for The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne is an amazing recent one. The tiny, tiny human facing down the mahoosive scary dragon creates a sense of drama that’s hard to beat.

What’s been your career highlight at Orbit?

So many things come to mind! Obviously being given the opportunity to run Orbit UK was a massive honour. Finding out Claire North won the World Fantasy Award for The Sudden Appearance of Hope was lovely. Watching the movie of The Girl With All the Gifts for the first time at a private screening was very special too. And it’s also hard to beat the day that Rob Boffard and I sent his book Zero-G into space (yes, this really happened).

What are your top 5 TV shows of all time?

Well, obviously Buffy. And Game of Thrones has to be in there. And Red Dwarf always has a very special place in my heart (though chameleonic alien lifeforms? No thanks!). Also, Succession is just some of the most brilliant writing I have ever seen, and the US Office is the fantasy world I’d most like to escape to sometimes.

What would your specialist subject be on Mastermind?

Obviously I’ll pick “how to run the most awesome SFF imprint in the UK”. But as a back-up, can it be breeds of guinea pig please?

What one book do you wish you had published?

Station Eleven was pretty brilliant. A fantastic book, published wonderfully.

What’s your favourite trope?

It’s got to be The Cavalry…riding in at the last minute when all seems lost. I air punch every time that happens.

What would your DnD class and race be?

I’ve been told I’m most suited to being a cleric. But I think Barbarians have much more fun.

Star Wars of Star Trek?  

Both were major features of my childhood but I think Star Wars just pips Star Trek to the post because I watched that from a slightly younger age. I think my brother and I must have watched our VHS copy of Episode IV (taped off the TV) about 150 times before age 10. But I never saw the first 10 minutes until recently, because one of our irresponsible parents had taped Torvill and Dean’s Ice and Fire over the start of it – I’m still angry to this day.