This Guy Was Absolutely Astonishing.


Edward D. Hoch died last week.

He was a prolific short story writer in an era when the markets for short stories are few and in a genre where, while there are still magazines which feature short fiction, those too are few and far between.

900 stories published in five decades. Think about that. 15 1.5 stories a month sold, year after year after year. [Correction made courtesy of Carl the Gummint Man, who’s better at math than I am].

Forget about how in the world anybody could write that many stories. Where in the world did he sell them once written?

Harlan Ellison, no slouch himself in his day, told me once that the real key is to sell the same material to different markets, to keep it working, building the often embarrassingly low payment scales in to a total compensation which allowed it all to make some sense financially.

Hoch, apparently, didn’t bother with that. He just sat down and wrote another story.

Astonishing.

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3 Replies to “This Guy Was Absolutely Astonishing.”

  1. Um, Math on the West Coast says that 900 stories in 5 decades is 1.5 stories a month, not 15. Check your decimal places. Or did this guy sell nine THOUSAND stories in 50 years? Carl the Gummint Man

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