Wednesday, March 09, 2016

First Meeting

I've mentioned here several times about the last meeting I had with Ray Bradbury. It was at the 2010 signing event for an anthology in which both of us had stories. He was frail and was obviously not in complete control of his mind at that point. For me, it was a sad meeting because of that, and because he was not the hearty man I had first met in 1986.

Yesterday I stumbled upon some photos that I took of Bradbury (and one obviously taken by someone else because I'm in it with him). This was at the 1986 World Science-Fiction Convention which was being held in Atlanta GA and was called CONFEDERATION. It remains the best science fiction convention I've ever attended. Mainly because I got to see and hear so many great writers I had long admired, and because it was one of the last mostly literary conventions before movies and cosplayers and scumbags took over the shows.

I do remember that Bradbury told me that he was in town not just for the show, but to also meet with the Turner Network people about the possiblity that they would take up The Ray Bradbury Theater which had just been canceled at another network. I don't know how that worked out. But I had a great experience just seeing him.

Confederation remains the single finest science-fiction convention I ever attended. Everything else since has been involved in a losing competition to measure up.

Ray Bradbury in his signature white get up (he did it first, Wolfe!). I don't know who the woman is.

Here is Bradbury autographing a book for me. He then apologized profusely for not having written back to me when I sent him a photo of Ryerson Johnson (who was then in his 80s), one of the first editors who had ever bought a story from him.

And here is a much younger, much thinner me speaking to Ray Bradbury.
Contrasted with a much heavier, older me with a very frail Ray Bradbury in 2010.

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