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Becoming Ray Bradbury$
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Jonathan R. Eller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036293

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036293.001.0001

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The Anthology Game

The Anthology Game

(p.185) 31 The Anthology Game
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Ray Bradbury's failed attempt to publish a mainstream literary anthology of science fiction stories centered on Mars. The development of the Illinois novel was slowed by Bradbury's increased focus on the science fiction stories he was writing and revising with more and more frequency. Despite Don Congdon's influence with a wide range of editors, these stories were still not selling to the major magazines at all. What sustained both his spirit and his reputation during this period was his almost phenomenal success with the premier award anthologies of the day such as the Best American Short Stories annual and the O. Henry Prize Stories. This chapter considers the impact of Bradbury's anthology awards on his writing life by focusing on his membership in the leftist poetry magazine California Quarterly, founded by Dolph Sharp and others. It also discusses Bradbury's idea for an anthology that would consist of twenty-five science fiction stories, a project that he called “The Martian Chronicles. Edited by Ray Bradbury” and never came to fruition.

Keywords:   science fiction, Ray Bradbury, Mars, anthology, Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, anthology awards, California Quarterly, Dolph Sharp, Don Congdon

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