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I started in this racket in the early '70s, and when I was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, of which I was like the sixth president, I was the first one nobody ever heard of.
I have more information in one place than anybody in the world.
Heinlein never had a best-seller. Even, I think, with Stranger in a Strange Land, I don't think it was actually on the New York Times best seller list.
Because Tom Doherty and people like that are not stupid. If they could have streamlined their operation more to get more money out of it, they would have done it. It's not like they're a bunch of idiots.
Asimov was the reason why we changed some rules in the SFWA, and I'm not convinced we changed it for the best.
And that's another piece of advice I'll give junior writers; when you get to the point where they take you to lunch, let the editor suggest where to go.
And meanwhile, the storytellers like me and Anderson, Silverberg... we tell stories. People like them. They want to know how it comes out, they want to know what the ending is.
And in down times it shakes a lot of the bad SF out, a lot the stuff that was bought for literary reasons, which is neither entertaining nor great literature.
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