How I Found Harry's All-Night Hamburgers

Back in 1987 I made my first sale to a major science fiction magazine, when Asimov's bought "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers." I was thrilled, and wanted to find a way to exploit this opening.

It immediately occurred to me that I could use Harry's as the setting for other stories. I came up with several premises, and started writing five of them. The most ambitious was called "How I Found Harry's All-Night Hamburgers," and it was intended as a pretty direct follow-up.

But the only one I finished in anything like a reasonable timeframe was "A Flying Saucer with Minnesota Plates." The others just didn't gell properly.

"A Flying Saucer with Minnesota Plates" was really just a gag; same for "Harry's Toaster" (which, I should mention, owes a great deal to Henry Kuttner's story "The Proud Robot"). I didn't have endings for "Tales from the Crypt" or "Harry the Huckster."

But I don't really know why I didn't finish "How I Found Harry's All-Night Hamburgers."

But then, early in 2018, Warner Brothers optioned a script based on "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers," and my interest was suddenly renewed. This time I did complete "How I Found Harry's All-Night Hamburgers" and "Harry's Toaster." I sold the latter to Amazing (which had just been revived again) and the former to Asimov's -- my first sale there in over twenty years. Also my first submission there in over twenty years.

And it's scheduled for the March/April 2019 issue, more than thirty years after the original appeared.

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