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Meet the Team: Jenni Hill, Editorial Director

Jenni Hill

Jenni Hill

Introducing Jenni Hill, Editorial Director

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

The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher. A gothic tale of outcasts and found family, about a secret society that patrols the borders between the supernatural world and the mundane one. The ‘will they won’t they’ romance between the woman who leads the society and her loyal knife man Mr. Sharp is still one of the best I’ve ever read.

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

Robin Jarvis’s Whitby Witches. It was spooky and probably too dark for children and I loved it. And later it was Interview with the Vampire, which, uh, ditto. The Redwall books were absolutely an epic fantasy gateway drug, too.

Name an Orbit cover you love?

I adore our recent cover for Fathomfolk, with artwork by Kelly Chong and design by Ella Garrett.

What’s been your career highlight at Orbit?

Having bought and edited Ann Leckie’s debut Ancillary Justice, my highlight would be the year it won all its prizes; which culminated in finally meeting Ann in person at London Worldcon and sitting next to her as the Hugo Award was announced, feeling so proud of her when she went up on stage to accept the prize.

What are your top 5 TV shows of all time?

All my TV faves are quite 90s: Stargate: SG1, X-Files, Star Trek: TNG, Buffy etc. It’s probably more revealing these days to ask my favourite fandoms, comic books, video games or roleplaying games.

What would your specialist subject be on Mastermind?

Oh, look, it’s got to be SFF publishing, hasn’t it. Nerd sh*t. I’ve been doing this professionally since 2008, I can’t do anything else except pet cats and mix a good cocktail.

What one book do you wish you had published?

Gideon the Ninth. I tried very hard to publish it a few years ago! Going further back, anything by Terry Pratchett, especially the Watch and Witches books, or Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga.

What’s your favourite trope?

Repressed emotions. When a character is having feelings but they don’t realise it. From UST to robots acting human to battle-hardened badasses who’ve convinced themselves they’re above such things, this is my literary catnip.

What would your DnD race and class be?

I’ve had a lot of fun playing tabaxis, dragonborn and elvish characters! And druids and warlocks are fun to play, but IRL I’d say human bard.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

I used to say Star Wars, but I’ve grown to love Star Trek more. Not coincidentally, I’ve also loved series like Master and Commander, Temeraire  and Orbit’s own Cinders Spires series – the structures of command and strictures of shipboard life are something it’s fun to play with and for characters to rail against. In a genre filled with dystopias, Star Trek is also one of the few franchises that genuinely imagines an optimistic future for humanity. It’s comfort fiction; I want to imagine people like Picard and Sisko and Janeway trying to do the right thing.