Author Spotlight: Ray Bradbury

The first of our “Author Spotlight” series, this month we are featuring contributors to Cycatrix Press’s forthcoming anthology, A Dark Phantastique. Our inaugural entry: the one and only Ray Bradbury.

A Darke PhantastiqueBradbury’s contribution, an essay titled “The Beginnings of Imagination” (March, 1951) begins the book:

“When I was five years old I had my own motion picture projector which I carried about in my head at all times. With this miraculous contraption kept secret from all of my friends, my brother, and my parents, I could enjoy my own films without the fear of criticism or ridicule. And they were beautiful films, cut and edited in the subconscious, and projected, at will, upon the wall of our parlor late at night…”

In the Introduction, editor Jason V Brock explains how this piece came to be in A Darke Phantastique:

“It was written for another dear friend, William F. Nolan, and has never seen publication before. Nolan had the only copy of this piece (from 1951) on a single onionskin page at his home. I read it, loved it, and asked Bill if I could print it; he agreed, but I had to clear it with Bradbury and his agency, which I did. Ray was gracious to me, and personally gave me his blessing to use the piece: I am grateful, and only wish he were still alive to receive a copy of the book and read it. I’m sure he would have loved these stories.”

Ray BradburyRay Bradbury, acclaimed novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and poet, was born August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a “student of life,” selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943 and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before Arkham House published a collection of them, Dark Carnival, in 1947. With a catalogue that includes The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Illustrated Man, and Fahrenheit 451, suffice it to say the rest is history. . . . Among his many honors, Mr. Bradbury has received the French Commandeur Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Medal, the National Medal of Arts, as well as the World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and SFWA Grand Master Lifetime Achievement Awards. He has also received an Emmy Award and a Pulitzer Special Citation for “his distinguished, prolific, and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.” Bradbury passed away in 2012.


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