Ferman is the son of Joseph W. Ferman, the publisher and sometime editor who established F&SF in 1949. He took over as editor in 1964 when Avram Davidson could no longer practically continue, as a resident of Latin American locales with unreliable postal delivery. (Joseph Ferman was listed as editor during 1964–65, however, followed by Edward from January 1966 through June 1991.) Edward Ferman would take on the role of publisher, as well, by 1970, as his father gradually retired. He continued as editor until 1991, when he hired his replacement, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and continued as publisher of F&SF until he sold it to Gordon Van Gelder in 2000. During Ferman's tenure, many other speculative fiction magazines struggled or went out of business. His magazine, along with Analog, continued to maintain a regular schedule and to receive critical appreciation for its contents.
During 1969 and 1970, Ferman was also the editor of F&SF's sister publication Venture Science Fiction Magazine. Together, the Fermans had also edited and published the short-lived nostalgia and humor magazine P.S. and a similarly brief run of a magazine about mysticism and other proto-New Age matters, Inner Space.
Ferman won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor three years in a row, from 1981 through 1983. F&SF had previously won four Hugos as the best professional magazine under his editorship. At least in the last decade of his tenure, he worked from a table in the family's Connecticut house. He edited or co-edited several volumes of stories from F&SF and co-edited Final Stage with Barry N. Malzberg. It is probable that he also ghost-edited No Limits for or with Joseph Ferman, an anthology drawn from the pages of the first run of Venture.
Ferman was recognized by a special World Fantasy Award for professional work in 1979 and by the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1998. He was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor is given each year for editors of magazines, novels, anthologies, or other works related to science fiction or fantasy. The award supplanted a previous award for professional magazine.
The award was first presented in 1973, and was given annually through 2006. Beginning in 2007, the award was split into two categories, that of Best Editor (Short Form) and Best Editor (Long Form). The Short Form award is for editors of anthologies, collections or magazines, while the Long Form award is for editors of novels. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954, and in each case an award for professional editor was given.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near Labor Day, and are held in a different city around the world each year. Members are permitted to vote "no award", if they feel that none of the nominees is deserving of the award that year, and in the case that "no award" takes the majority the Hugo is not given in that category. This happened in both the Short Form and Long Form categories in 2015.During the 52 nomination years, 64 editors have been nominated for the original Best Professional Editor, the Short Form, or the Long Form award, including Retro Hugos. Of these, Gardner Dozois has received the most awards, with 15 original awards out of 19 nominations for the original category and one for the Short Form. The only other editors to win more than three awards are Ben Bova, who won 6 of 8 nominations for the original award, Ellen Datlow, who won 7 of 17 nominations, split between the original and short form awards, and John W. Campbell, Jr. with 6 out of 6 nominations for the Retro Hugo awards. The two editors who have won three times are Edward L. Ferman with 3 out of 20 original nominations and Patrick Nielsen Hayden with 3 out of 3 Long Form nominations. Stanley Schmidt has received the most nominations, at 27 original and 7 Short Form, winning one Short Form.Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine was given each year for professionally edited magazines related to science fiction or fantasy and which had published four or more issues with at least one issue appearing in the previous calendar year. Awards are also given out for non-professional magazines in the fanzine category, and for semi-professional magazines in the semiprozine category.
The award was first presented in 1953, the first year any Hugo Award was given, and with the exception of 1954 was given annually through 1972 when it was retired in favor of the newly created professional editor category. For the 1957 awards, the category was split into American and British magazine categories, a distinction which was not repeated any other year. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1946, 1951, and 1954, but only for the professional editor category, not the professional magazine category that would have existed at the time.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with five nominees, except in the case of a tie. These five works on the ballot are the five most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. The 1953 through 1956 and 1958 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up magazines, but since 1959 all five candidates were recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of five nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year.During the nineteen nomination years, twelve magazines run by fifteen editors were nominated. Of these, only five magazines run by eight editors won. Astounding Science-Fiction/Analog Science Fact & Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction each won eight times, out of eighteen and fifteen nominations, respectively. If won three of five nominations, New Worlds won one of its six nominations—though its win was in the 1957 "British Professional Magazine" category—and Galaxy Science Fiction won only one out of its fifteen nominations, for the first award in 1953. Of the magazines which never won, Amazing Stories was nominated the most at eight times, while the only other magazine to be nominated more than twice was Science Fantasy with three nominations. John W. Campbell, Jr. received both the most nominations and awards, as he edited Analog Science Fact & Fiction for all eighteen nominations and eight wins. Edward L. Ferman and Robert P. Mills both won four times, while Frederik Pohl won three. H. L. Gold received the second most number of nominations at twelve, while Cele Goldsmith received the most number of nominations without winning at ten for her work on two separate magazines; she was the only female editor to be nominated.Venture Science Fiction
Venture Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, first published from 1957 to 1958, and revived for a brief run in 1969 and 1970. Ten issues were published of the 1950s version, with another six in the second run. It was founded in both instances as a companion to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; Robert P. Mills edited the 1950s version, and Edward L. Ferman was editor during the second run. A British edition appeared for 28 issues between 1963 and 1965; it reprinted material from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction as well as from the US edition of Venture. There was also an Australian edition, which was identical to the British version but dated two months later.
The original version was only moderately successful, although it is remembered for the first publication of Sturgeon's Law. The publisher, Joseph Ferman (father of Edward Ferman), declared that he wanted well-told stories of action and adventure; the resulting fiction contained more sex and violence than was usual for the science fiction (sf) genre in the late 1950s, and sf historian Mike Ashley has suggested that the magazine was ahead of its time. It succumbed to poor sales within less than two years. The second US version was no more successful, with less attractive cover art and little in the way of notable fiction, though it did publish Vonda McIntyre's first story. By the end of 1970, Venture had ceased publication permanently.World Fantasy Special Award—Professional
The World Fantasy Awards are given each year by the World Fantasy Convention for the best fantasy fiction and art published in English during the preceding calendar year. The awards have been described by sources such as The Guardian as a "prestigious fantasy prize", and one of the three most renowned speculative fiction awards, along with the Hugo and Nebula Awards (which cover both fantasy and science fiction). The World Fantasy Special Award—Professional is given each year to individuals for their professional work in the preceding calendar year in fields related to fantasy that is not covered by other World Fantasy Award categories. These have included editors of magazines and novels, publishers, and authors of non-fiction works. Occasionally, especially in the first few years of the award, some publishing companies were nominated along with individual editors and publishers. The nomination reasons were not specified in the first year of the award, and have sometimes not been specified beyond "contributions to the genre". Individuals are also eligible for the Special Award—Non-professional category for their non-professional work. The World Fantasy Special Award—Professional has been awarded annually since 1975.World Fantasy Award nominees and winners are decided by attendees and judges at the annual World Fantasy Convention. A ballot is posted in June for attendees of the current and previous two conferences to determine two of the finalists, and a panel of five judges adds three or more nominees before voting on the overall winner. The panel of judges is typically made up of fantasy authors and is chosen each year by the World Fantasy Awards Administration, which has the power to break ties. The final results are presented at the World Fantasy Convention at the end of October. Winners were presented with a statue in the form of a bust of H. P. Lovecraft through the 2015 awards; more recent winners receive a statuette of a tree.During the 44 nomination years, 145 individuals and four publishing companies have been nominated; 53 people have won, including ties and co-nominees. For his work at Donald M. Grant, Publisher Donald M. Grant has won three times out of eight nominations, and six other nominees have won twice. Ian Ballantine and Betty Ballantine have won twice out of two nominations each for their non-fiction and publishing work, and Peter Crowther twice out of four nominations for his work at PS Publishing. Edward L. Ferman won twice out of six nominations for his work at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Stephen Jones twice out of six for his editing and anthology work, and Gordon Van Gelder twice out of seven nominations for his editing work in both books and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Ellen Datlow has received the most nominations with ten, winning once, for her editing and anthology work, and David Pringle has the most nominations without winning with five, for his work at Interzone and for "contributions to the genre".