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Autobiographies from Amazing Stories and Worlds Beyond

The following autobiographical piece appeared in the September 1952 issue of Amazing Stories magazine:

Men Behind Amazing Stories: H. B. Hickey

photoofhbhickey.jpg (11331 bytes)

Authorship, like acting, is make-believe, and an editor's request for an autobiography is a sudden request to make believe I'm me. An invisible barrier of self-consciousness, like Martian zet, springs up between my fingers and typewriter and I realise I don't know how much of me is really me and how much I've made up.
The time and place of my birth are dull facts, recorded by the Chicago Board of Health. I know for certain that once I lived in a house with a high stairway - I remember the fall that broke my leg. But the rest is lost in the mists. For all I know I may really be the son of a prince, I may really have licked Jack Dempsey.
Of such dreams are childhood, and authors, made.
The truth is prosaic. I became an author because I happened not to like the job I held, and because I happened to own a typewriter. I could dream on paper and get paid for it - what more could anyone want?
I've dreamed by the ream. In five years I must have written and sold over a hundred stories, from short-short to novel. I have saved beautiful women from fates worse than death, I have tracked the killer to his lair, defeated the cattle barons, disrupted the oriental dope traffic and found adventure in the skies above Jupiter and Venus.
It's all been fun. And Jupiter and Venus have been the most fun. The drive to reach the stars is strong in Man, and science-fiction is the last frontier of the unfettered imagination. Princes and cattle barons are things of the past and History sometimes makes liars out of writers. But we can write of the future secure in the knowledge that some dull scientist will take our dreams for fact and actually create the worlds and weapons we've imagined.
So I don't complain. Life is good. I live in California. I have a loving wife and two fine sons, four years and four months, respectively - and no more bills than most folks I know.
And if sometimes this doesn't really seem like the best of all possible worlds, I can dream me a better one.

Copyright 1952 by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company


This autobiographical sketch appeared in the February 1951 issue of Worlds Beyond magazine:

I was thrown into the water and learned to swim. This is the true story of how I became a writer, back in 1945. Until then I had been in turn an infant, a child, a schoolboy, an amateur cowpoke, a semipro card player, a salesman and a husband. Rather than argue with my wife -- who is too small for me to beat -- I agreed to give up selling.
Had I owned an automobile at the time I might have become a taxi driver. But as luck had it my sole mechanical possesssion was a typewriter. I wrote two detective shorts and sent them out. When they sold quickly I nailed up a shingle with my pseudonym on it and was in business. Since then I've written and sold a considerable amount of fiction of divers kinds, including a Western novel which has seen five editions.
Now, at 34, I find myself in California, possessed of a large house, a wife (the same still), a small boy, a small dog and an automobile. Should literary disaster strike, I'm now equipped to be a taxi driver.
I'm of average height, weight and appearance, undistinguishable from any other writer using the pseudonym of H. B. Hickey.

Copyright 1951 by Hillman Periodicals, Inc.

With special thanks to Rich Horton for kindly sending this piece to me.


This short piece was published in the Summer 1952 issue of Fantastic magazine:

Like so many authors, Mr. Hickey turned to writing after a good many false starts in other directions. He sold haberdashery and music lessons, sewing machines and cigars, photographs and radio scripts, before he finally got around to selling editors. He now lives in California with his wife and two sons, where he turns out western-, detective-, and science fiction with equal facility - and all excellent.

Copyright 1952 by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company

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