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    Read 'Futuria Fantasia,' Ray Bradbury's early, self-published science fiction zine

    Read 'Futuria Fantasia,' Ray Bradbury's early, self-published science fiction zine

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    "But, Mr. Smith, how do you explain that gyro-statistic-electromagnetiosonomonator on the radiostuntomotor?"


    So ends the first issue of Futuria Fantasia, a teenage Ray Bradbury's attempt at science fiction publishing in 1939. The whimsical zine wasn't out of place in the early science fiction and fantasy world, especially as the very first SF conventions began connecting fans and writers with each other. Bradbury, then 19 years old, used its pages to publish some of his earliest work, including poems, editorial asides, and short stories. Besides his own work, it includes pieces from central science fiction fandom figure Forrest J. Ackerman (who apparently funded Bradbury's zine) and Damon Knight, a prolific writer whose short story "To Serve Man" became a classic Twilight Zone episode, among others.

    Bradbury's work in Futuria Fantasia — usually referred to as "FuFa" by Bradbury — was often pseudonymous, written under the names Ron Reynolds and Guy Amory. Outside the stories, he provided a window into early science fiction fandom, with dispatches from conventions and satirical letters from hot-headed "fans." The zine itself never reached the level of fame that Bradbury would achieve later in life, but four issues have been preserved online at Project Gutenberg for anyone to read. Open Culture, meanwhile, offers an audiobook of the first issue hosted at the Internet Archive.