Someone just forwarded one of those funny emails that proves that the number of people who enjoy Jazz is actually less than the number of people who want to play Jazz.
It occurrs to me that similar arguments can be used to show that the actual number of people who enjoy pure science fiction (no zombies, demons, vampires or elves) in reality is less than the number of people who aspire to be science fiction writers.
There is lots of evidence to support this. For instance the combined subscriptions of the top science fiction magazines is well under 100,000 and the number of short story submissions to these magazines is pushing 50,000. It might be easy to come up with the math to show that the number of pure science fictions fans who subscribe to science fiction magazines is less than the number of people submitting stories to science fiction magazines. What remains is to factor in the submission rates at all the SF magazines on Ralan’s website and compare that to the number of page views they get for their stories as compared to their submission guidelines pages.
I have no doubt that at least 3/4 of all of the readers of SF magazines and websites are wannabe writers, and only 1/4 of them actually read SF for pleasure.