Project Gutenberg hosts a trove of the first four issues of Futuria Fantasia, the sf zine that Ray Bradbury started as a 19-year-old in 1939. They included his fiction and articles, and the Gutenberg editions are glorious. If that wasn't enough, Librivox volunteer Lois Hill has read aloud the Spring 1940 issue, with material from Lyle Monroe, J. E. Kelleam, Hank Kuttner, J. H. Haggard, Ron Reynolds, Damon Knight, and Hannes V. Bok.
“Released in 1939 shortly after Bradbury graduated from high school,” says Zinewiki’s entry on the magazine, “Futuria Fantasia was published with the help of [sci-fi promoter] Forrest J. Ackerman, who lent Bradbury $90.00 for the fanzine.” The first issue, available free from Project Gutenberg, includes Bradbury’s story “Let’s Get Technatal” (written under the pseudonym “Ron Reynolds”) and poem “Thought and Space.” The second issue includes an article he wrote under “Guy Amory” and his story “The Pendulum.” The third includes a Bradbury editorial, the fourth another editorial and the pseudonymous stories “The Piper” and “The Flight of the Good Ship Clarissa.” “I hope you like this brain-child, spawned from the womb of a year long inanimation,” the ambitious young Bradbury writes in his introduction to the summer 1939 issue. “This is only the first issue of FuFa … if it succeeds there will be more, better issues coming up.” Three more would, indeed, emerge, but surely even such a predictive mind as Bradbury’s couldn’t imagine what his career really held in store.
Revisit Futuria Fantasia: The Science Fiction Fanzine Ray Bradbury Published as a Teenager [Colin Marshall/Open Culture]
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