Ray Bradbury is remembered today as a Grand Master of science fiction. His work is widely popular, cherished by fans, taught in schools, and studied by academics. He is revered as one of the most compelling genre authors of the 20th century, a virtuoso composer who sang the bodies electric and human. And, perhaps unknown to some, he began his life as a science fiction fan and author in those formative years of the late 1930s.
This year (2020) marks the centenary of Bradbury’s birth, and we at First Fandom Experience hope to honor him by contributing to the extensive body of literature that surrounds him. Building on our work for The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom, Volume One: The 1930s, we are on schedule to publish a volume titled The Earliest Bradbury, an exploration and celebration of his earliest writings as a science fiction fan, ahead of his centennial in August.
Like The Visual History, The Earliest Bradbury explores history by wrapping an archive in a story. We use original artifacts from the past, such as fanzines, letters, and photographs, to tell the story of Bradbury’s journey as a young fan and author. Although we discuss his more well-known works, such as Futuria Fantasia and Hollerbochen’s Dilemma, we pay special attention to the often overlooked articles, letters, and stories Bradbury published as a teenager and young adult, and tease out the relationships that influenced the young Bradbury and launch his career as a professional author. As with The Visual History, many of the artifacts reproduced in The Earliest Bradbury are rare and difficult to find as originals or reproductions.
We’re incredibly excited to be preparing this work for Bradbury’s centennial. We are currently planning to publish a deluxe, hard-bound edition of The Earliest Bradbury in July, which will be available through the FFE website. A subsequent soft-cover and e-book edition will also be available.
The Visual History Returns
In addition to our work on The Earliest Bradbury, we are also publishing a second print run of The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom, Volume One: The 1930s. This limited run of 100 will be hardbound.
The Cosmos Prize
We’re incredibly excited to announce the conclusion of the first annual Cosmos Prize. Winners for the 2020 Cosmos Prize have been announced, and you can read the winning submissions by clicking here.
Stay tuned for details on the 2021 Cosmos Prize
We’ll soon be announcing the theme and rules for the second annual Cosmos Prize. What we know so far:
- The contest will run until April 2021
- The theme will be based on the twin round-robin novels “The Challenge From Beyond,” which were published in the September 1935 issue of Fantasy Magazine. Click here to see the novels as they originally appeared.
- This iteration of the prize will target artists and illustrators.
Like everyone else, our best laid plans to attend conventions this spring and summer went awry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of our favorite conventions, where we were looking forward to connecting with old friends and new fans, have been cancelled or postponed. But, with characteristic creativity and determination, many conventions have made the into the virtual world and we’re happy to announce that we’ll be able to (remotely) participate in them. Fandom finds a way.
Balticon 54 will take place virtually from May 22 to 25. We’ll be in attendance with a dealer presence.
AmazingCon will take place virtually from June 12 to June 14. We’ll be participating in two panels, and doing a reading from our work.
You can keep up with our event plans here.