"WE HAVE IMPORTANT RIDDLES TO SOLVE. OURSELVES": FIRST EDITION OF IN THE STREAM OF STARS, BOLDLY INSCRIBED BY RAY BRADBURY WITH HIS SKETCH OF STARS
(BRADBURY, Ray) HARTMANN, William K., SOKOLOV, Andre, MILLER, Ron, MYAGKOV, Vitaly, eds. In the Stream of Stars. The Soviet/American Space Art Book. With an Historical Perspective by Ray Bradbury. New York: Wortman, (1990). Large oblong quarto (10-1/4 by 11-1/4 inches), original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $2200.
First edition of an expansive, richly illustrated volume celebrating the brilliance of American and Soviet artists, featuring Ray Bradbury's moving lead essay that urges humanity to meet the challenge of the universe and "fall upward," wonderfully inscribed by Bradbury across an entire page with his sweeping sketch of stars, profusely illustrated with over 140 illustrations, most color and full page.
Ray Bradbury, in his opening essay to this lavishly illustrated work, urges us to remember "we came out of the sun… the universe is grandiose, romantic, endless. It asks us to expand to fit eternity." Humanity's passion for "stupendous journeys" is affirmed by this volume's over 140 illustrations, most in color and full-page. To Bradbury, they remind "us of where we have been and might go again." Featured are images by nearly 70 artists, including classic views by pioneering artists such as Lucian Rudaux, the brilliance of those linked with science fiction, and works by American and Soviet artists who traveled to space on missions for both nations. "This association has produced some breathtaking art… the pictures range from realistic, through symbolic, to frank surrealism" (Science Fiction Research Association Newsletter 188). In Bradbury's moving essay, he asks us to continue to defy gravity and "fall upward… space travel is the religious endeavor of humankind to comprehend the mystery, box the miracle, understand the immense… We have important riddles to solve. Ourselves." First edition, first printing. With essays by editor William K. Hartmann and fellow editor/artists Andrei Sokolov, Ron Miller and Vitaly Myagkov, as well as those by Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, artist Alan Bean of Apollo 12 and Ron Schulman, director of the NASA Art Program. Containing the work of over 70 artists in over 140 illustrations, most full-page and in color. Issued same year in wrappers, no priority established.
A splendid copy in fine condition.