Sam Bellotto, Jr.
Bewildering Stories biography
I started writing in 1959, when I was 13 years old. All through middle school and high school I wrote short stories, sent them off to various pulp magazines, and acquired a massive and colorful collection of rejection slips. I attended Long Island University, in Brooklyn, where I majored in Journalism and worked on the school newspaper.
While in college, myself and a like-minded posse of dangerous student activists produced a science fiction semiprozine, “Perihelion,” which apparently has achieved legendary status in the annals of speculative literary history. Mike Ashley has written extensively of it in his authoritative Gateways to Forever. Rare copies have been sold on eBay for upwards of $400.
After college, I toiled for more than 20 years in the concrete insane asylum of New York City editing and writing for a varied assortment of business, trade, and consumer publications.
My published articles, essays, editorials, and magazines, if lined up end to end, would stretch from here to New Jersey. I have waxed prosaic about everything from cryonic suspension to solid wastes management. I have interviewed luminaries whom most people wouldn’t consider luminaries — think, for example, old man Steinway of Steinway Piano fame. I’ve been on the cutting edge of technology journalism during the advent of personal computers, word processing (I helped coin and popularize that phrase, by the way) and synthesized music.
I also have an interesting second career as an author of crossword puzzle books. I’ve been making puzzles professionally since 1979, when I broke into the business by placing my first sale with the Sunday New York Times Magazine under then crossword puzzle editor, the legendary Eugene T. Maleska.
I’ve recently authored Cool Crosswords for Kids, a book of 100 crossword puzzles designed especially for children between the ages of 11 and 13. The puzzles span themes from geography to dinosaurs to the kinds of “yucky” stuff kids of that age adore. The book, published by Charlesbridge Press, aims to be both fun and educational. I’ve also authored a book of entertainment-themed crosswords for Charlesbridge, and am currently working on “Great Quotes,” a collection of 76 crosswords themed to humorous or pithy quotations.
When not making crosswords, I continue to write fiction and non-fiction. My recent novel Yellow Glad Days is available from Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle editions.
Today, I live in Rochester, New York, in a modest two-bedroom house with my black labrador, Petra, and an impressive animated cartoon collection.
Readers are welcome to contact me from my website, www.Crossdown.com.
Copyright © 2012 by Sam Bellotto, Jr.