Before he became one of the genre's most beloved and influential authors, Ray Bradbury was just a budding young writer trying to get someone to read his work.
Today, young writers can start a blog, or self-publish an e-book, if they want to simply put themselves out there. In 1939, when Bradbury was fresh out of high school, that wasn't an option. Instead, he chose to release his early work, in part, through one of the 20th century's most tried and true forms of independent media: the zine.
So, hoping to put himself in print, Bradbury borrowed $90 from legendary sci-fi fan, editor, agent and memorabilia collector Forrest J. Ackerman and set about creating Futuria Fantasia, which ran for four issues from the summer of 1939 to the fall of 1940.
“I hope you like this brain-child, spawned from the womb of a year long inanimation,” Bradbury wrote in his introduction to the first issue. “This is only the first issue of FuFa … if it succeeds there will be more, better issues coming up.”
The zine included numerous writings by Bradbury, often published under psuedonyms, including editorials, poems and short stories like "Don't Get Technatal," "The Pendulum" and "The Piper." It also featured writing by Hannes Bok (who also provided much of the artwork, including the cover art above), J.H. Haggard, Damon Knight, Henry Kuttner and more. It's a treasure trove of Bradbury's early ambition, and we're lucky it still survives.
All four issues of Futuria Fantasia, including the artwork, have been uploaded to Project Gutenberg for your reading pleasure. So, if you'd like to experience the work of a pre-Martian Chronicles, pre-Farenheit 451, pre-legendary Bradbury, head over there and get your fill.
(Via Boing Boing)