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So You Wanna Be a SciFi Writer?

According to various unreliable surveys, 81% of the population "feels like they have a book in them." But only a very few ever write it. And of those few, even fewer make a living by writing science fiction. This chart tells you why. It shows how many books scifi great Isaac Asimov (author of I, Robot) published every year, for a grand total of 300 books. This is what it takes to live on words, kids. Of course, why Asimov had to churn out so many books in 1989 is a mystery. Maybe he bought a house that year? Or a Biodome? Graph by Tony Neilson.

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DISCUSSION

"Of course, why Asimov had to churn out so many books in 1989 is a mystery. Maybe he bought a house that year?"

Ouch. Seriously? Or it could be that he knew he was dying from AIDS and wanted to finish up his life's work.

"There may be some morbid satisfaction to being a last survivor, but is it so much better than death to be the last leaf on the tree, to find yourself alone in a strange and hostile world where no one remembers you as a boy, and where no one can share with you the memory of that long-gone world that glowed all about you when you were young? Thoughts like that would beset me, now and then, after I passed my sixty-ninth birthday on January 2, 1989... Mind you I hadn't turned completely morbid... I kept up my busy schedule of... endless writing, writing, writing."

I. Asimov, A Memoir, p. 538-539