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Confessions of a Failed Science Fiction Writer
          H.G. Wells died in 1946, when I was eleven years old.  I remember sobbing heartbrokenly when I heard the news.  The very next day, I began writing my magnum opus in honour of my idol and inspiration, which I grandly titled:  H.M.S. Space Mariner.  I was the same age as Robert Silvcerberg, and my work was written nearly ten years before the publication of Revolt on Alpha C.  Sadly, only one tattered fragment of my Lost Masterpiece has survived, in addition to four illustrations by my friend Bobby Oosthuizen, who was also eleven.  I had been told to write about things I knew and had experienced, and as I didn't know much about piloting space rockets at the time, I wrote a story about a dog, which was published in a newspaper when I was fourteen.  I still have the postal order that I received in payment, for the grand total of seven shillings and sixpence.   It was to have been the beginning of my career as a professional writer.  A few months later, a school story was serialized in five issues of the Johannesburg Sunday Times, for which I was paid two guineas (the editor very kindly explained that teenagers couldn't expect to be paid at the same rate as adults.) And when I was 16 I received ten shillings and six pence for writing the final episode of a science fiction serial entitled Destination Unknown that was published in a magazine called Young Opinion. What this means is that my career as a science fiction writer began and ended before Robert Silverberg published his first story.   My creative drought   has lasted nearly sixty years, and even though I have contributed a number of research papers to academic and professional journals, I haven't been paid for any of them.

Giant protoplasm
Ray gun

Robert Silverberg

Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series

Babylon 5

H.G. Wells