"THE WRITER MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING MODERN SCIENCE FICTION INTO THE LITERARY MAINSTREAM": FIRST EDITION OF THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, INSCRIBED BY RAY BRADBURY IN 1952 TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE PORTRAIT OF BRADBURY APPEARS ON THE DUST JACKET
BRADBURY, Ray. The Illustrated Man. Garden City: Doubleday, 1951. Octavo, original beige cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition of this noted collection of 18 science fiction stories, inscribed in the year after publication to the photographer who photographed Bradbury for this book's dust jacket, an early SF fan who founded pioneering SF fanzine The Science Fiction Collector: "For Morris Dollens—who turns beasts into beauties! With great respect! From Ray Bradbury, 1952."
American science fiction author Bradbury is best known for the novels Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes, and for the intertwined stories of The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury was also a prolific short story writer; his "vintage years are normally thought to be 1946-55; his other short story collections of that period are certainly superior to those he produced later. They begin with The Illustrated Man, in which the tales are given a linking framework; they are all seen as magical tattoos which, springing from the body of the protagonist, become living stories" (Clute & Nicolls, 152). Bradbury's "imaginative and lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own postwar America… By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. His name would appear near the top of any list of major science fiction writers of the 20th century… Though none of his works won a Pulitzer Prize, Mr. Bradbury received a Pulitzer citation in 2007 'for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy" (New York Times obituary).
Recipient Morris Scott Dollens (1920-94), an early SF fan, founded, in mid-1936, The Science Fiction Collector, the first SF fanzine published in Minnesota. He produced 13 issues before turning it over to John Baltadonis in June 1937. He moved to California in the 1940s where he was active in SF circles. He worked for several years at MGM studios, and early in the 1950s he began selling his paintings at SF conventions (in Minnesota he had studied art and photography at the Minneapolis School of Art before working for a commercial photographer). Dollens produced at least 1700 paintings, mostly astronomical art. Bradbury's inscription clearly refers to Dollens' credited photographic portrait of Bradbury found on the rear flap of The Illustrated Man's dust jacket. With "First Edition" on the copyright page. Currey, 45.
Book about-fine, dust jacket with mildly toned spine and a few tiny nicks, clean and bright, near-fine. A lovely inscribed copy with a nice association.