Back in that golden age of the pulp magazines – the 1950s – the rate was penny per word. That’s why the novels of that Dianetics guy are so wordy.

Just seen an ad for sci-fi romance writers. Penny per word……

What inflation?

12 thoughts on “Inflation”

  1. Looking at my mounds of mouldy books, I usually guess that the Oz dollar is worth less than a hundredth of what it was when I was a kid.

    But I suppose if I take ebooks into account, that’s untrue. And of course my kindle has an index, so I don’t have to swear and wonder where the damn thing is.

  2. If we are talking about British pennies, the face value of the modern penny is roughly two and a half times that of the 1950s penny.

  3. Sci-fi romance… Ah, demi-porn with a techno sauce.

    And the rate is so low because there’s that many more people who consider themselves the next bestseller author of the decade. Doubly so with WuFlu idleness causing people to remember those creative writing lectures and making them decide to torture words into drivel again.
    Dunno about abroad, but the dutch publishing houses have simply started to refuse unsolicited manuscripts, and “advise” self-publishing to aspiring wordsmiths.

  4. My earliest recollection about what a few old style pennies could buy dates from around 1963 when I was five years old. Walls ice cream vans actually sold an ice lolly called a 3D which you could buy with a threepenny bit. A sixpence would get you an ice cream cone. The Walls ones were rectangular and came with a lump of icecream shaped like a brick which fit neatly inside it.

  5. Oi, Stonyground, surely the past tense of “fit” must be fitted, or fat, or fut? It can’t possibly be “fit” unless you are affecting American English.

  6. I remember the days when I could go into town, buy a new suit, have a fish supper, buy a pint of laudanum, get a tram home and still have change out of a groat.

  7. @dearieme


    Those authors I can never love
    Who write, “It fit him like a glove.”
    Though baseballs may be hit, not “hitted,”
    The past of “fit” is always “fitted.”
    The sole exception worth a haricot
    Is “Joshua fit de battle ob Jericho.”

    Ogden Nash

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