Ray Bradbury autographs my new copy of Futuria Fantasia
Tonight, I went to the Ray Bradbury event in Torrance. Being totally paranoid about being late due to traffic, I managed to arrive an hour and ten minutes early but surprisingly, Bradbury was already there with a line of people waiting for autographs.
He signed autographs (limit of two to a person, although a person was allowed to go back to the end of the line) until about 7:10 and then after introductions and all, he talked for about 45 minutes.
The theme of the talk was "All my loves" and basically he talked about how all the loves in his life affected his life.
For example, he said that he fell in love with Lon Chaney when he saw him in the Hunchback of Notre Dame when he was three years old. He also loved Gene Kelly, loved "Singing in the Rain," which he categorized as a "science fiction musical" because it had sound. He talked to Gene Kelly about doing a screenplay and wrote "Dark Carnival." Kelly loved it and took it with him to Paris trying to get funding but didn't. So then, Bradbury was left with a screenplay nobody wanted, so he turned it into a novel and renamed it "Something Wicked This Way Comes." But, he said it all came about because he loved Lon Chaney and loved Gene Kelly.
He talked about his love of libraries and how reading about Nazi book burning and the destruction of the library of Alexandria led to writing "Fahrenheit 451" because he loved libraries and had to stop the book burning.
He said that he wrote because he thought writing was a lark so he has just been having fun his whole life! He said he had no use for writers who were negative about writing.
The whole talk was great.
I spent a little money - I ended up with this very cool book which consisted of facimiles of the four issues of his mimeographed zine "Futuria Fantasia" circa (1939-1941) with art by Hannes Bok and stories and poems by the following:
Forrest J Ackerman (Pseudonyms: Foo E Onya, Erick Freyer, One Who Should Know Better)
Hannes Bok (Pseudonyms: H.V.B., Anthony Corvais)
Ray Bradbury (Pseudonyms: Guy Armory, Ron Reynolds, OMEGA, Doug Rogers)
J. Harvey Haggard
Robert Heinlein (under the pseudonym Lyle Monroe)
Joseph E. Kelleam
J. Chapman Miske
It also includes the artwork for the never finished 5th issue. All in all it's a very cool piece of science fiction history.
I'm really glad I made the effort to go.