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Volume 3734

The ERBzine Edgar Rice Burroughs / Ray Bradbury Connection Presents

Ray Remembers Edgar Rice Burroughs

Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

To those who mourn, remember what Mr. Electro said. . .  Ray Bradbury caught me with "The Jar," and from there it was a lifelong friendship with an excited kid, his collections like Saturday afternoons in a cluttered attic talking about ghosts and time and playground bullies and racism and individuality and Mars, always Mars, and the mix of sadness and joy that accompanied growing up and saying goodbye to childhood.

He believed we deserved our own, American fantasy that was not ashamed that it was loose and joyous and weird and did not bow to the musty respectability of European tradition--no depression, no moaning about the nothingness of it all. (Ray would have sent a dinosaur to chase Camus's stranger.)

He used simple words and descriptions and even simpler characters to wonder about the big issues, focusing on images and moments that resonated: a spaceship rupturing, and the falling crew members inspire a child who makes a wish on a shooting star; an automated house gradually destroys itself; a man encounters a Martian on a lonely road at night, knowing he is speaking to a ghost...except the Martian thinks he is, too...and they're both right...

Bradbury knew the power of the tonic that gave one the dreams to go on, spooked and excited by life. He was the bottler of our dreams and nightmares, and that is why Mr. Electro is not denied, years after making a pronouncement over young Ray. Through his works and the countless children he helped become readers, Ray will do as the man he met at the carnival decreed: "Live forever."

by John Stephen Walsh
~ Originally published at
(John Stephen Walsh is a writer whose new collection of horror stories, Love Has A Taste, is available at

Ray Bradbury dies at 91
Author lifted science fiction and fantasy to literary heights

Ray Bradbury Remembers Edgar Rice Burroughs
I love to say it because it upsets everyone terribly - Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world. By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys, Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special. That's what we have to do for everyone, give the gift of life with our books. Say to a girl or boy at age ten: Hey, life is fun! Grow tall! I've talked to more biochemists and more astronomers and technologists in various fields, who, when they were ten years old, fell in love with John Carter and Tarzan and decided to become something romantic. Burroughs put us on the moon.
—Ray Bradbury in “Listen To The Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews
My next madness happened in 1931, when Harold Foster’s first series of Sunday color panels based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “Tarzan” appeared, and I simultaneously discovered, next door at my uncle Bion’s house, the “John Carter of Mars” books. I know that “The Martian Chronicles” would never have happened if Burroughs hadn’t had an impact on my life at that time.

I memorized all of “John Carter” and “Tarzan,” and sat on my grandparents’ front lawn repeating the stories to anyone who would sit and listen. I would go out to that lawn on summer nights and reach up to the red light of Mars and say, “Take me home!” I yearned to fly away and land there in the strange dusts that blew over dead-sea bottoms toward the ancient cities.

2012 quote in New Yorker
Throughout his many novels, Burroughs carries on a timeless tradition of weaving the fabric of fantasy and the morals and ideals of society into one whole that became a commentary on the culture in which he lived. Burroughs stands separate from Verne and Kipling because of his romantic "unreason." ... Burroughs "unreason" is rooted in his portrayal of scenes. He shows his characters as lifelike and believable, but puts them in an environment that is scientifically or realistically unlikely. Burroughs' difference and popularity stems from his readers' belief that Burroughs' worlds and characters could possibly exist, however highly unlikely that might seem.
There is no doubt in my mind that without the early influence of ERB I would never have “arrived” on the planet Mars, myself. As a boy I used to run next door to my Uncle Bion’s house, in Waukegan, and borrow all of the Burroughs’ Tarzan and Mars books and read them again and again until I could recite them from memory, to my friends, sitting under the big apple tree in my grandmother’s fron yard during the summertime. Burroughs gave me my leavening and, later, Huxley and Steinbeck and Robert Frost gave me, iwth many others, new directions of thought, scientific and social and poetic. My first great love in book-reading, was Burroughs. I lived on Mars a good many fine years with John Carter. I shall not forget those years.
I knew all (his) novels and stories as a boy and was thrilled by (his) work and loved them very much. I still respect the boy that I was, I have not turned my back on myself. The books of one’s childhood are immensely important and even though one’s taste may shift as one grows older, still the memory of great adventure and much fun lingers stronger than many other books read in later years. I shall always be in debt to (ERB) for the pleasure (he) gave me.
ERB-dom #55, 1972

(As a kid, growing up mostly in Waukegan, Ill., young Ray fed on Poe and was so excited by Edgar Rice Burroughs, especially his John Carter of Mars novels, that he wrote a fan sequel to “Warlord of Mars” at the age of 12.)
Ref: Los Angeles Times
Ray Bradbury in 1923 in Green Town, Ill. "When I was born in 1920," he said in 2000, "the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist. TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things."
An undated photo shows George Burns and a young Ray Bradbury. 
The author in 1950. Bradbury wrote more than 27 novels and story collections — including "The Martian Chronicles," "Fahrenheit 451," "Dandelion Wine," and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" —— and more than 600 short stories. 
The Bradbury familiy in 1958: From left, Bettina, 3; Ray; Ramona, 7; Susan, 8; and Marguerite. 
The science fiction writer, in 1966, looks over the results of a high school project tied to one of his works. 
Ray Bradbury and his wife Marguerite, or "Maggie," are shown at their home in 1970. 
Bradbury (in 1975) didn't drive a car. But he was often out and about in L.A., browsing bookstores' stacks, his bicycle propped just outside. 
Bradbury, in his office in 1985, had said he didn't throw anything away.  Bradbury is surrounded by toys and treasures in his Beverly Hills office in 1986. 
The author in his office in 1987.  Ray Bradbury, sitting in front of a mask from one of his plays, told the L.A. Times in 1995: "What I love about this theater and small theaters like it is that you are on Mars. You're right there with the characters and you can see what they're feeling, and you can feel what they're feeling. I'd like to think that in my work, that's important."
In 2000, Bradbury chatted with The Times about his classic "Dandelion Wine," which was turned into a popular musical. The production was being reprised at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.  Charlton Heston was among those at the 80th-birthday bash thrown for Bradbury in 2000 at Burbank's Colony Theatre. 
Author Ray Bradbury is amused by the approach of a fan before receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.  In April of 2002, the author speaks at UCLA's Royce Hall during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. 
In Venice, Bradbury speaks to a crowd during the city's 2005 centennial celebration. He told of the Venice apartment he shared with wife Marguerite in the 1940s.  Ray Bradbury delivers a talk at the 2007 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus. 
Ray Bradbury embraces himself as he speaks at the Acres of Books on his last visit to the bookstore on June 25, 2008.  The author signs books during the 2009 L.A. Times Festival of Books at UCLA. 
Ray Bradbury happily accepts a gift of a Clifton's Cafeteria tray from Robert Clinton, grandson of Clifton's founder Clifford Clinton, as he celebrates his 89th birthday in 2009 with friends at a luncheon at the historic eatery where he was allowed to eat for free when he was a struggling writer. As a young man, Bradbury, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and Jack Parsons, inventor of solid rocket fuel, belonged to a science fiction club that met downtown at the cafeteria in the late 1930s. 

ERBzine Bradbury Eclectica

From our OTR Collection of over 20,000 Shows
LISTEN to Ray Bradbury's Classic Radio Shows
"Mars Is Heaven!"
on X Minus 1 from May 8, 1955
"There Will Come Soft Rains and Zero Hour"
Martian Chronicles
on Dimension X

Mars Is Heaven
A Sound of Thunder

See and Hear More at:
Mars Is Heaven!: Graphic Version and Radio Presentation

More about Bradbury's "Mars is Heaven!"on the Web:
Text in PDF

During the first Worldcon in New York City, fans took the opportunity
to visit Coney Island where this foto-op took place:
Front: Mark Reinsberg, Jack Agnew, Ross Rocklynne
Top: V. Kidwell, Robert A. Madle, Erle Korshak, Ray Bradbury
Coney Island, July 4, 1939 (Photo by Robert Madle)

Introduction by Ray Bradbury
Foreword by Brian Walker
Compiled by Brian M. Kane (Fantagraphics 2009) 
Limited edition (50 copies) 

This page was signed by Ray Bradbury, Mary (Foster) McAskin, Marie (Foster) Sasaninejad, Cullen Murphy, Brian Walker, Brian M. Kane, Todd Goldberg, Gary Gianni, Mark Schultz. 

This "exclusive bookplate edition" was given as a gift to the late Bill Crouch as a supporter of the project.

Teenage Ray Bradbury with Marlene Dietrich
In this picture, you can see the fifteen-year-old Ray Bradbury — long before his famous author days — posing with the incredible movie star and singer Marlene Dietrich. How did this happen? Over on Dangerous Minds, Tara McGinley contextualizes this odd coupling with a few telling quotes from interviews that Bradbury did over the years. He told Playboy that he'd moved to Hollywood with his family when he was fourteen, and that he loved to chase down movie stars on his roller skates:
I was madly in love with Hollywood . . . I skated all over town, hell-bent on getting autographs from glamorous stars. It was glorious. I saw big MGM stars such as Norma Shearer, Laurel and Hardy, Ronald Coleman. Or I’d spend all day in front of Paramount or Columbia, then zoom over to the Brown Derby to watch the stars coming or going. I’d see Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Fred Allen, Burns and Allen—whoever was on the Coast. Mae West made her appearance—bodyguard in tow—every Friday night.
In a LIFE interview, he added:
I still have my autographs and a few roller skate ball bearings left over from those days so long ago. Almost all of the people I met then are gone, but miraculously Marlene and George have survived. The light that comes out of these pictures is a constant rerun of my life as a somewhat silly but always loving boy, terribly reluctant to enter manhood.

Fans of science fiction first flocked together in the 1930s.
They connected through letters written to the magazines they cherished—Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, Astounding Stories.”
This of course included a young Ray Bradbury, photographed selling newspapers to fund his blooming writing career!

Click for full-size promo collage

The ERBzine Edgar Rice Burroughs / Ray Bradbury Connection
Ray Bradbury 1920-2012: A Life in Photos
Wizard From Waukegan
Tarzan, John Carter, Mr. Burroughs, and the Long Mad Summer of 1930
(Introduction to The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges)
Mars Is Heaven!: Graphic Version and Radio Presentation
 Ray Bradbury's I, ROCKET Illustrated by Al Williamson

Ray Bradbury Elsewhere in ERBzine:
Exploring the Many Worlds of ERB and Ray Bradbury

Read Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder
Watch it at YouTube:
Part I  |  Part II  |  Part III

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