Saturday, January 23, 2010

Robert Silverberg Talks Pulp

Here.  (found courtesy of Boing Boing)

Mistress of the Tentacled Oblivion: Please tell my Octopulps readers a bit about your work as a staff writer for Amazing Stories.

Robert Silverberg: I was a staff writer for Amazing, turning in two or three space operas a month. The editor of Amazing at that time was either Howard Browne or Paul Fairman—Browne quit somewhere in early 1957 to return to freelance writing, and turned the magazine over to his assistant editor, Fairman. I was taken onto the staff in the summer of 1955, when I was still in college, and proceeded to sell Browne a lot of stories that he had previously rejected from me as a freelancer (he never read unsolicited stories; everything was staff written and the outside stories went back instantly with nice rejection slips) as well as a lot of stuff written to order. I was just a kid and delighted to be part of it: you brought your week's work in on Monday morning and your agent had the check the next day. In any case when Cele Goldsmith replaced Fairman around 1959 she did away with the staff system entirely.

MOTTO: How did you first encounter the pulps in all their glory? What made you decide you wanted to write for the pulps?

RS: They were sold on every corner newsstand. I hope you know what those were. I began buying them when I was in the eighth grade—Weird Tales, Amazing, etc.—and immediately figured I could write stories for them and get them published and make a lot of money and get famous. I was 13 at the time. It turned out I was right about all that, but it took another few years before those checks came rolling in.

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