Friday Reads: The Earliest Bradbury

The team that brought you “The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom” celebrates the centennial of Ray Bradbury’s birth with the publication of a unique volume of his earliest writing as a science fiction fan.

Like iconic predecessors Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, his work has stood the test of time. A virtuoso composer with language, he sang the bodies electric and human. His stories reached beyond the mainstream of science fiction, earning him recognition with the National Medal of Arts and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

But you know all this. What you may know less well is that Bradbury began his life in science fiction as a fan, actively immersed in the nascent community of fans in the late 1930s who would shape the genre for the next several decades. Bradbury fell in with Forrest J Ackerman and the Los Angeles Science Fiction League (LASFL) in October 1937 at the age of 17. Just four months later, his first published science fiction story appeared in the January 1938 issue of the club’s organ, “Imagination!”

The rest is history. “The Earliest Bradbury” fills important some gaps in that history. Here readers will have a unique opportunity to experience some of Bradbury’s earliest steps on his road to mastery. A rich trove of Bradbury’s articles and stories from 1937 – 1941 are reproduced in “The Earliest Bradbury” in full facsimile form, as they were originally published in amateur fanzines. Most of these artifacts have never been available outside the musty archives of fanatical collectors of early fan history.


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