Bufton on Books: ‘Futuria Fantasia: Issue #1’ by Various (1939)

FUTURIA FANTASIA: ISSUE #1 by Various Artists [edited by Ray Bradbury]
1939 | self-published | Kindle edition | 17 pages
Science Fiction

The first of four issues of a science fiction fanzine produced and edited by a young Ray Bradbury in his late teens, and which would feature some well-known future writers in the SF scene.

* ‘The Revenge of the Scientists’ by T. Bruce Yerke (1939)
* ‘Don’t Get Technatal’ by Ron Reynolds [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1939)
* ‘The Record’ by Forrest J. Ackerman (1933)
* ‘Thought and Space’ by Ray Bradbury (1939)

It can be instructive, reading the early work of legendary authors. If nothing else, it reminds us that nobody leaves the running blocks at full speed. Bradbury’s offerings are both adequate: the earnest scribblings of a talented young man yet to hone his craft. They are workmanlike and little more, but it’s hard to deny that they contain sparks of the future Bradbury. Elsewhere, Yerke bores with his essay, Ackerman entertains with his story, and that’s about it. An interesting snapshot of West Coast SF fandom in the late thirties, but nothing to which one would be compelled to return. (**)

‘The Revenge of the Scientists’ by T. Bruce Yerke (1939)
A stultifying essay, it’s either the worst recruitment drive or the subtlest satire of all time. I’ve yet to decide. (*)

‘Don’t Get Technatal’ by Ron Reynolds [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury](1939)
Bradbury’s satire on Technocracy is more genuine than his editorial exultation. His trademark humour makes an early (if stunted) appearance. (**)

‘The Record’ by Forrest J. Ackerman (1933)
An ambitious piece that describes a world falling from utopia to near-extinction in matter of pages. Fun, if somewhat naive. (***)

‘Thought and Space’ by Ray Bradbury (1939)
This poem aims for epic but settles for prosaic, being a perfectly functional bit of verse with little other significance. (**)

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