Edward J. Bellin, Paul Edmonds, Noel Gardner, Will Garth, James Hall, Keith Hammond, Hudson Hastings, Peter Horn, Kelvin Kent, Robert O. Kenyon, C. H. Liddell, Hugh Maepenn, Scott Morgan, Lawrence O’Donnell, Lewis Padgett, Woodrow Wilson Smith, Charles Stoddard…
They were all Henry Kuttner, alone or together with his wife, C.L. Moore.
I always liked Kuttner’s work. And C.L. Moore’s.
Discovering their arm-long list of aliases was for me the start of a great treasure hunt.
Back in the days, an alias was a good way to sell two stories to the same issue of a pulp magazine – and thus for making a living.
There are legends about single issues of certain pulps that were written cover to cover by a single author, under a number of different names.
Aliases were common – often imposed by the publisher, as house names… like Grant Stockbridge or Kenneth Robeson.
Today an alias is still a good way to differentiate – especially if you are writing in two different fields, and don’t want to confuse the readers.
Even if I don’t think true readers are easily confused.
Another good reason to use an alias is to get away from it all – from your reputation, from your field, from the politics of the genre.
From black lists too – if black lists exist, of course.
Some will denounce aliases as a form of “cheating” – as if publishing one’s writing under a different name somehow made it undeservedly better, in some illicit way1.
I have always liked my name.
It’s serviceable, easy to remember2, easy to pronounce, you can even write it in Japanese without particular problems.
But I have published under an alias3, and will probably do it again.
Mostly to keep genres separated.
But yes, also to be free of expectations.
To be free to play.
To sidestep the “compared to your last story…”
To let the writing do the talking, as it should.