Bio: Ray Bradbury, (1920--) a rabid and devoted science fiction fan from his early adolescence and from the early years of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, sold his first story (a collaboration with Henry Haase) to Future Science Fiction when he was 19 years old and by the end of the 1940's was one of the most admired science fiction writers. The irony or paradox of Bradbury's career is that it was--in his mind--the result of his essential failure. Bradbury's his poetic, impressionistic, surreal and decidedly anti-rational stories were deemed unsuitable by John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and virtually all of his early work went to second and third-level magazines. (Bradbury did sell two tiny pieces to Campbell in 1943, the only stories he ever placed there.) In the early postwar years, however,Bradbury's short stories found outlet in the so-called mainstream slick magazines--Mademoiselle, Charm, Redbook, Esquire--and he became the first science fiction writer to achieve some significant literary recognition through publication in Martha Foley's Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Prize volumes. His first "novel"--actually a collection of related short stories compiled from work he had published in Planey, Future and Thrilling Wonder StoriesThe Illustrated Man, A Medicine for Melancholy and others were also successful as was Bradbury's early novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes, (also the basis of a Disney produced film in the 1980's). Bradbury collaborated with John Huston in the early 1950's on a film treatment for Moby Dick and many of his short stories have been the basis for television and theatrical films, notably the feature-length The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. He is also a playwright and poet.
When I Was in Knee Pants was the title of Damon Knight's long essay in the late 1950's on Bradbury's work and influence and indeed Bradbury has been regarded as the poet of childhood; no writer in this century has been able to recapture the fears and sounds and dreams of childhood as has he through an entire body of work. (Perhaps Henry Roth in his 1934 novel, Call It Sleep told from the point of view of a six year old tenement boy is his only peer.) Bradbury has through his languorous, imagic, acute sensory style influenced almost every fantasy writer who succeeded him. In 1989, Bradbury was awarded the Grandmaster trophy of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and In the year 2000 he was awarded the medal for literary distinction by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. for distinction in literature.