Ray Bradbury: (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

My small tribute to the man who turned me on to Science Fiction.

The first science fiction story I ever read was Bradbury’s “Kaleidoscope.” (thanks Dad!).

It totally freaked me out, so of course I read more: The Veldt (more creeping out!), “The Long Rain” (would it never end?) and, “The Last Night of the World” — read it and cry.

They were just the beginning.

That battered book laying on its side in that photo is an original edition of  The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1: 1929-1964   (1970), a collection of 26 stories of the pre-1965 period that were selected by the SFWA as the “the definitive group of stories by writers who have done the most to give form and substance to modern science fiction..”  As you can see, the book has been well-read over the last 40 years — well enough that I can still flip to my favorite stories, even though the Table of Contents (along with the cover and pages i-ix) are long gone.

Fittingly for today, here is Bradbury’s story in the collection  —-

Perhaps I’ll set up the telescope tonight and focus on Mars …


[edit: Chuck Wendig, over at Terrible Minds, has a nice post and long comment section on “Your First Bradbury.”  Surprising how many people started with “The Veldt” or “Kaleidoscope.” If you’re a fan and can remember your first Bradbury, drop a comment here or over there.  6/8/12 ]