mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

Analog Statistics

On the same Friday that Arisia began, I received my subscription copy of the April 2005 Analog in the mail. (Yes, I know it was only January; dates on magazines are almost always future dates, for reasons I'll explain if anyone asks.) Because of Arisia and the Blizzard and other life things, I almost forgot that I wanted to mention something cool I discovered in this particular issue.

Back in 1980, a British science fiction fan named Mike Ashley began putting together a comprehensive index to Astounding/Analog magazine, from the date of its inception in January 1930 through the end of 1979. The index was published in 1982, and since then, there have been 25 more years of Analog. Writer Stephen L. Gillett decided that the time was right to update and computerize the index, and has an article in the April issue called "Analog Computing" about what he discovered during said process. In order to have the article ready for the 75th anniversary of Analog, which is this year, he updated the index to June 2004 (in which I had the cover story, which may be important, as we'll see in a moment). According to the article, they plan to put the index up on their webpage at some point, so that's something to look forward to.

Many of the statistics are fascinating. Over this time period, 5,034 stories written by 1,036 individuals have appeared in the magazine. The all-time winner is Harry C. Crosby, who writes under the name Christopher Anvil and published 83 stories from 1956 to 1995. The top ten fiction contributors include names such as Poul Anderson, Randall Garrett, Jerry Oltion, and Isaac Asimov. Former editor Ben Bova comes in at number 25, and there are other recognizable names all the way down on the published Top 41 List.

However, the table that I found of more personal interest was Table 2, on page 73. Gillett lists the nine most frequent contributors to Analog for the period since the last index, from 1980-2004, and includes the years of their first and last stories. Here's the list:

1. Jerry Oltion, 60 stories from 1982-2004 (number 4 on the All-Time list)
2. Grey Rollins, 37 stories from 1989-2004 (number 18 on the All-Time list)
3. Joseph H. Delaney, 33 stories from 1982-1998 (number 23 on the All-Time list)
4. Michael F. Flynn, 32 stories from 1984-2003 (number 24 on the All-Time list)
5. W.R. Thompson, 31 stories from 1983-1998 (number 26 on the All-Time list)
6. Stephen L. Burns, 30 stories from 1985-2004 (number 29 on the All-Time list)
7. Harry Turtledove, 27 stories from 1984-1999 (number 34 on the All-Time list)
8. G. David Nordley, 24 stories from 1991-2004
9. Michael A. Burstein, 23 stories from 1995-2004

Apparently, for the period of time since 1980, I have become the number 9 most frequent fiction contributor to Analog. What's even more astonishing to me is that in 1980, I was only ten years old.

I have no idea why Gillett arranged the lists as a Top 41 and a Top 9, or why he even bothered with a table from 1980-2004, but I'm glad he did. I'm also glad he made it to the June 2004 issue; had he not, I would only have 22 stories listed in his index, and perhaps someone else would have placed at number 9. I was thrilled to see my name up there, even if at the same time I was scratching my head to wonder how this had happened. I never set out to be identified with one particular magazine, but Analog readers and I do seem to be a fairly good fit. I would love to place a story in Asimov's or F&SF, but looking back, I now realize that had I done so in the past ten years, I probably would have spread out my work so much that I wouldn't have made it to this list.

And I must admit that part of me is now looking at Christopher Anvil's number 1 position of 83 stories, and wondering if I'll be able to reach it. Since 2004, I've had one more story in Analog, and two more sold, meaning that unless Nordley has sold anything since, I'll have published 26 stories by the end of 2005, placing me on that All-Time Top 41 list right on Turtledove's tails. (Interesting image.) Seeing this list motivates me to continue writing stories for Analog even as I concentrate mostly on the novel.
Tags: personal, science-fiction, writing

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