That Time Ray Bradbury Got Told “Short Stories Don’t Sell”

Friday , 1, September 2017 2 Comments

And I met all the editors. And they all said,”Well don’t you have a novel?”

I said, “no, I’m a sprinter; I write short stories.”

“Well, we don’t publish short stories. They don’t sell.”

And I was ready to go home defeated. And the last night there I had dinner with Walter Bradbury– no relation– from Doubleday Publishers. And during the dinner he said, “Ray, what about all those Martian stories you’ve been writing. What if you tied them all together in a tapestry and called it The Martian Chronicles? Do you think you could do that?”

Via Kevyn Winkless.

  • deuce says:

    Being as how it’s ERB’s birthday, this great essay from Ray seems apropos:

    Burroughs was adept at stitching together short stories into novels as well — a skill A. Merritt likely acquired from watching ERB do it. Many of Merritt’s novels were fix-ups.

  • Fenris Wulf says:

    Some of my favorite novels are fix-ups. It’s like having your cake and eating it too, the economy of a short story and the epic scale of a novel.

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