Futuria Fantasia, a magazine by a young Ray Bradbury
While barely 18 years of age, young Bradbury drove the publication of Futuria Fantasia, which he employed to forge his own path towards creativity.
Borges once stated that a writer should never become distracted from his creative work by the creation of a literary magazine ––a questionable judgement taking into account the importance these represent in the history of literature. What would have happened to Borges and other writers of his generation if Sur had never existed? What would Mexican literature be like if it wasn’t for Octavio Paz’ legendary Plural and Vuelta? Or in earlier times, without the magazines of modernist poets and writers, or the homonymous publication by the Contemporaneos group? How would we understand the history both of contemporary literature and French edition if we didn’t have Nouvelle Revue Française — the direct precedent for Gallimard’s prestigious editions?
In this way, and despite Borges’ opinion on the matter, it is evident that literary reviews play an incredibly important role in literature. Practically any example we can mention will show they have something in common, which essentially is, that the effort of creating a magazine implies recognising an absence in the world, a missing space for those who have different creative anxieties to those their reality has. So it is then that creating a magazine is in some way the same as inaugurating a new land, opening a gap in the world were novelty and audacity can seep through.
Towards 1939, shortly after Ray Bradbury had graduated from high school, that boy, who back then was just a kid interested in science fiction and writing, published a magazine centred on this subject, Futuria Fantasia, whose first edition offered a short story by Bradbury himself, called “Let’s Get Technatal” (which appeared under the pseudonym “Ron Reynolds”), as well as his poem “Thought and Space”. In the following issues there were other similar texts, the first pieces that evidenced the genius that would later, many years later, be shown in Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.
In that first issue (that to a greater extent happened because of Forrest J. Ackerman, a supporter of science fiction who loaned Bradbury 90 dollars to pay for the publication costs), the young writer asserted “better issues coming up”, an optimistic foretelling he was able to retain, albeit in other ways, throughout Bradbury’s career.
Towards the end, the author’s budding effort, which has long been a consummated dream, a fortunate yearning that was nonetheless materialised in paper and ink, revealing an urge to make his own way, to create a path, to begin to dream of a reward that, at the end, would be indisputably given to him.
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