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Larry Hodges

Larry Hodges

Bonesy, fiction, December 1, 2009
Pruning for Gold, September 1, 2010

Birthdate? Feb. 27, 1960

When did you start writing? I live in two unique worlds, the world of writing and the world of table tennis, but there's a huge overlap. As a top player and coach, I began writing numerous articles on table tennis in the 1980s, including my first of three books on the sport. In 1985 I became a resident at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, first as a player, later as a coach and then the director. We had training sessions in the morning and late afternoon. I usually spent the time between sessions reading science fiction & fantasy, as I'd done since elementary school. One day I tried writing a story, and next thing you know, I was spending much of my time between sessions writing science fiction & fantasy.

When and what and where did you first get published? My first published article was a profile of two top junior table tennis players, published in Table Tennis Topics Magazine in 1977 when I was 17. It was the first of over 1200 published articles or stories in 97 different publications. Though I wrote a few fictional table tennis pieces, my first published science fiction or fantasy story was the fantasy "Horse Dreams," published in Atrocity Magazine in December, 1988. I had two other published 
stories in small-market magazines, then my big breakthrough when Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine - sort of the precurser to Realms of 
Fantasy - published my story "Falling Apart" in Winter, 1989. (I would have nine published stories before I took a 14-year sabbatical from SF&F writing, 1991-2005.)

Why do you write? To keep my head from exploding from the accumulation of thoughts. Early on, as thoughts accumulate, they rub up against you, creating an itch that must be scratched. Ignore the itch, and the pressure builds until BANG!!! (Little known fact: most writing grants come from the U.S. Department of Defense, 
which has great interest in the military value of writers.)

Why do you write Science Fiction and/or Fantasy? For the sense of wonder. That's also why I read it.

Who is your favorite author? Your favorite story? From the golden age, Isaac Asimov. Among modern writers, Robert J. Sawyer. As to choosing a favorite story, that would be like choosing a favorite son or daughter.

If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say? "Here lies Larry Hodges, the greatest table tennis player in the world of writers, and the greatest writer in the world of table tennis."

Larry Hodges, of Germantown, MD, is an active member of SFWA with numerous short story sales. He recently finished his first novel, a SF satire on the race for president of Earth in the year 2100, which is now making the rounds on its way to great glory or utter obscurity. He's a graduate of the six-week 2006 Odyssey Writers' Workshop, the 2007 Orson Scott Card Literary Boot Camp, and the 2008 Taos Toolbox Writers' Workshop. He's been a full-time writer for many years with three books and over 1200 published articles in 97 different publications. He is also a member of the USA Table 
Tennis Hall of Fame - Google it! - and once beat someone using an ice cube as a racket.