Ray Bradbury's fan letter to Robert A Heinlein


The Houston Press's 2011 coverage of Comicpalooza included this shot of a beautiful letter of appreciation from Ray Bradbury to Robert Heinlein, written in 1976.

DEAR BOB:

YOUR INFLUENCE ON US ALL, FROM 1939 ON, CANNOT BE MEASURED. I CAN ONLY SAY I REMEMBER, WARMLY, YOUR MANY KINDNESSES TO ME WHEN I WAS 19–20–21 YEARS OLD. THAT YOUNG MAN BASKED IN YOUR LIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR THE HELP YOU OFFERED WHEN I WAS SO POOR & NEEDFUL! YOURS IN THAT MEMORY — RAY BRADBURY

AUG – 1976

The wonderful thing for me is that when I was 19-20-21, I, too, found many writers who were graceful and helpful to me and my writing, from Judith Merril and Damon Knight to James Patrick Kelly and Nancy Kress. Science fiction has always been a place where debts are paid forward.

From Ray Bradbury to Robert Heinlein, 1976 (via MeFi)

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  1. In fourth grade I wrote a letter to John Christopher, and he wrote me back. It felt amazing to get a personal reply from a celebrity, especially at that age!

    When fandom doesn’t suck, it’s awesome.

  2. I wrote to William S. Burroughs when I was 18.  He sent me a postcard.  He said….

    “Who am I?  I am the cat who walks in the night and to me all supermarkets are alike.”

  3. Heinlein spoke to me when I was 18 too (20 years after Bradbury wrote that letter).

    I grew up in a very left-wing family (liberal for you Americans ;-), and reading a centre-right / libertarian view of the world allowed me to question some of what I had grown up with.

    I argued a lot with Heinlein in my head (and was thankful that I didn’t find out he was already dead by then – it wouldn’t have been the same). I still identify myself as a liberal, but a much more broadly-thinking one.

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