Meisha Merlin was founded because I, along with Kevin Murphy, felt that there were books and series that did not get their just due from the larger houses. There are certain titles that because of their content, style, or concepts that deserve extra attention. In this day and age of 'gimme more of what I had before' it is not always easy for the larger houses to break their particular molds of promotions and marketing.
I remember looking at the S~G novels when they first came out and thinking that the publisher did not really know what they had in this series cause the cover treatments were so very different, even clashing. When I was first approached at the 2000 WorldCon about the idea of reprinting the series and commissioning new titles I thought "What a challenge! Here is a series that I know several friends have read and talked to me about, and that I have overheard many conversations about at conventions and conferences around the country. The one statement that always got mentioned sometime in the conversation was 'I'm not sure where the publisher is going with this series.' This is the type of series Meisha Merlin was created for." At that time the many different rights for the series were spread out among several publishers and I asked the authors to gather together all the rights and get back with me. We got back together at the 2001 WorldCon and put together a very general deal while I took copies of all the books to sit down and read them all in order. As often happens in publishing, the real world demanded more of my time than expected, thus it was longer than planned before all got read and the final contracts could be worked out.
One of the things I like best about the S~G series is there is no clear cut right and wrong on most of the issues. When lines develop you nderstand why the people choose the side they do. Fear of change is one of the strongest fears we have. Many wars have been fought over that fear. Here is a world with several different cultures in the midst of a change that will affect their very basic definition of 'who am I.' When your hard-core beliefs are challenged, your first reaction is to protect-fight-for them, even if that means fighting your own family. The S~G series looks at this, and much more from the levels of self, family, town, nation, and world. Who is right? I'm not always sure... Who will win? I don't know... What would I do in their situation? That is why I bought this series...to learn more about myself.
Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.