Ray Douglas Bradbury (1920–2012) was an American author and screenwriter. One of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers, he worked in a variety of modes, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and realistic fiction.
Ray Bradbury was mainly known for his novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and his short-story collections The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951). Most of his best known work is speculative fiction, but he also worked in other genres, such as the coming of age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale (1992). He also wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted into television and film productions as well as comic books.
The New York Times called Bradbury “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.”
Ray Bradbury cited H. G. Wells and Jules Verne as his primary science-fiction influences. Bradbury identified with Verne, saying, “He believes the human being is in a strange situation in a very strange world, and he believes that we can triumph by behaving morally”. Bradbury admitted that he stopped reading science-fiction books in his 20s and embraced a broad field of literature that included poets Alexander Pope and John Donne. Bradbury had just graduated from high school when he met Robert Heinlein, then 31 years old. Bradbury recalled, “He was well known, and he wrote humanistic science fiction, which influenced me to dare to be human instead of mechanical.”
In young adulthood Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and read everything by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A. E. van Vogt.
Ray Bradbury – First Edition Identification Guide
Note: This list only includes works published prior to 1977.
|Year||Title||Publisher||First edition/Printing Identification Points|
|1963||THE ANTHEM SPRINTERS||New York: The Dial Press, 1963||Two simultaneous bindings, but paperbound copies were probably available a few weeks prior to hardbound copies: (A) Wrappers. Apollo Editions A-75 ($1.95); (B) Cloth. No statement of printing on © page.|
|1965||THE AUTUMN PEOPLE||New York: Ballantine Books, ||Wrappers. First Ballantine Printing October 1965 on © page. Ballantine Books U2141 (50c). Stories adapted to comic book format. Foreword and "The Screaming Woman" appear for the first time in book form.|
|1969||BLOCH AND BRADBURY||[New York]: A Tower Book, ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Tower 43-246 (60c). With ROBERT BLOCH. "The Watchers" appears for the first time in a Bradbury collection, with four other stories reprinted from earlier books. Issued later in Great Britain as FEVER DREAM AND OTHER FANTASIES. Note: Reprinted in 1972 by Peacock Press of Chicago with additional material by others.|
|1957||DANDELION WINE||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1957||First edition so stated on © page. ALSO: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975. No statement of printing on © page. New introduction by Bradbury.|
|1947||DARK CARNIVAL||City: Arkham House, 1947||No statement of printing on © page. ALSO: London; Hamish Hamilton, . Boards. First published in Great Britain, 1948 on © page. Abridged reprint. Collects twenty of the twenty-seven stories.|
|1959||THE DAY IT RAINED FOREVER||London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1959||Two bindings, priority as listed: |
|1966||THE DAY IT RAINED FOREVER A COMEDY IN ONE ACT||New York Hollywood Toronto: Samuel French, Inc.., ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Note: PRICE, 75 CENTS at base of front wrapper. Copies distributed later have price $7.00 and still later $1.25 rubber-stamped on front wrapper.|
|1953||FAHRENHEIT 451||New York:Ballantine Books, Inc., ||Five bindings. No sequence for hardcover copies determined but all are preceded by those in wrappers: |
ALSO London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1954. Boards. No statement of printing on © page. First British edition. Features the title novel only. ALSO New York: Simon and Schuster, . Boards. First printing so stated on © page. Text follows 1953 Ballantine edition. New introduction by Bradbury.
|1970||FEVER DREAM AND OTHER FANTASIES||London: Sphere Books Limited, ||Wrappers. First published in Great Britain in I970 ... on © page. Sphere 17140 (25p). With ROBERT BLOCH. Issued earlier in the U.S. as BLOCH AND BRADBURY.|
|1953||THEGOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1953||Boards. First edition so stated on © page. Later combined with A MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY as TWICE TWENTY TWO. ALSO. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1953. Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Deletes two stories, "The Big Black and White Game" and "The Great Fire."|
|1972||THE HALLOWEEN TREE||New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972||Two bindings, no priority: |
|1969||I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC!||New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969||First edition so stated on © page. Note: Lines 18 and 19 transposed on page 231. Error persists in the second printing, the British edition (printed from the U.S. plates), and possibly unobserved later printings.|
|1951||THE ILLUSTRATED MAN||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1951||First edition so stated on © page. |
ALSO: London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1952. Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Includes two stories notin the U.S. edition, "Usher II" and "The Playground" and deletes four, "The Rocket Man", "The Fire Balloons", "The Exiles", and "The Concrete Mixer."
|1976||LONG AFTER MIDNIGHT||New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976||Boards with cloth shelf back. First edition so stated oh © page. Note: Two states of the proof copies bound in wrappers and issued to reviewers. Earliest has "I Rocket" which Bradbury insisted be replaced. Later copies substitute "The Better Part of Wisdom." Published version includes the latter story.|
|1964||THE MACHINERIES OF JOY||New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964||Boards with cloth shelf back. First printing so stated on © page. ALSO: London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1964. Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Deletes "Almost the End of the World", included earlier in THE DAY IT RAINED FOREVER.|
|1950||THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1950||First edition so stated on © page. |
ALSO: London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1951. Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Re-titled THE SILVER LOCUSTS. Adds "The Fire Balloons" and deletes "Usher II."
ALSO: The Science Fiction Book Club, . Boards. This edition... was produced in 1953 ... on © page. Carries the U.S. title, drops "Usher II" and adds "The Fire Balloons" and "The Wilderness." Note: Issued by the British Science Fiction Book Club.
ALSO: New York: Time Incorporated, . Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. First printing of the complete text. Includes the 1950 Doubleday text, "The Fire Balloons", and "The Wilderness."
ALSO: Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., . No statement of printing on © page. First hardcover edition of the complete text. Includes biographical sketch and bibliography of Bradbury by William F. Nolan.
|1959||A MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1959||First edition so stated on © page. A number of these stories were reprinted in THE DAY IT RAINED FOREVER.|
|1955||THE OCTOBER COUNTRY||New York: Ballantine Books, ||Three bindings, no priority established: |
|1964||THE PEDESTRIAN||[Glendale, California: Roy A. Squires ,1964]||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. 280 copies only Reprint. Collected earlier in THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN.|
|1966||THE PEDESTRIAN A FANTASY IN ONE ACT||New York Hollywood London Toronto: Samuel French, Inc., ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Note. PRICE, 75 CENTS at base of front wrapper. Copies distributed later have $1.00 price and still later $1.25 rubber-stamped on front wrapper.|
|1975||PILLAR OF FIRE AND OTHER PLAYS...||Toronto New York London: Bantam Books, [1975}||Wrappers. November 1975 on © page. Bantam Drama N2173 (95c).|
|1962||R IS FOR ROCKET||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., ||Boards. First edition so stated on © page. All but two stories, "R is For Rocket" and "Frost and Fire", reprinted from earlier books.|
|1975||RAY BRADBURY||London Harrap, ||Flexible cloth wrappers. First published in Great Britain in 1975... on © page. Reprint collection. Edited, with introduction and notes, by Anthony Adams. Note: Whitaker*s Cumulative Book List enters this volume as Short Stories. This title appears nowhere in the book.|
|1966||S IS FOR SPACE||Garden City: Doubleday & Company. Inc., 1966||First edition so stated on © page. All but four stories, "Chrysalis", "Pillarof Fife", "Time in Thy Flight", and "The Screaming Woman" (the latter published in a different format earlier in THE AUTUMN PEOPLE), reprinted from earlier books.|
|1962||THE SMALL ASSASSIN||London: The New English Library Limited, [19621||Wrappers. First Ace Books edition 1962 on © page. Ace H521 (2/6). Reprint. All stories appeared earlier in the U.S. edition of DARK CARNIVAL.|
|1962||SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES||New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962||First printing so stated on © page.|
|1957||SUN AND SHADOW||Berkeley: [The Quenian Press], 1957||Wrappers. 90 copies only. Two states, sequence unknown: |
|1955||SWITCH ON THE NIGHT||[New York]: Pantheon Books, ||Boards. No statement of printing. Earliest printing bears the following statement on title page: Text copyright 1955 by Ray Bradbury /Illustrations copyright 1955 by Pantheon Books, Inc./Library of Congress Card No. 55-5545/Printed in the United States of America/by Graphic Offset Company, New York, N. Y. |
Note: A later printing bears a similar statement on verso of title page but gives the publisher as Pantheon Books, a Division of Random House, Inc. These copies are bound in washable white cloth printed in black, yellow, and olive green. Still later printings lack the dedication to Bradbury's daughters and list new Library of Congress serial numbers for library and trade bindings on rear cover.
|1976||THAT GHOST, THAT BRIDE OF TIME EXCERPTS FROM A PLAY-IN-PROGRESS...||[Glendale, California: Roy A. Squires, March 1976]||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. 400 copies printed. The first 150 bear the statement Subscriber's Copy and the author's signature on page .|
|1966||TOMORROW MIDNIGHT||New York: Ballantine Books, ||Wrappers. From Ballantine Printing June 1966 on © page.A BallantineBook U2142 (50c). Stories adapted to comic book format. Introduction and two stories, "Punishment Without Crime" and "I, Rocket", appear for the first time.|
|1966||TWICE TWENTY TWO||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966||No statement of printing on © page. Code 47G on page 405. Note: Later printings delete date from title page. Reprint. Combines THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN and A MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY.|
|1965||THE VINTAGE BRADBURY||New York: Vintage Books, ||Two bindings, no priority: (A) Orange buckram stamped in gold and black; (B) Wrappers. Vintage Book V-294 ($1.45). First Vintage edition, September, 1965 on © page. All but one story reprinted from earlier books.|
|1972||THE WONDERFUL ICE CREAM SUIT AND OTHER PLAYS||Toronto/New York/London: Bantam Pathfinder Editions, ||Wrappers. Published April 1972 on © page. Bantam Pathfinder Edition SP7297 (75c). |
ALSO: London: Hart-Davis, MacGibbon, , Boards. First published in Great Britain 1973 on © page. First hardcover edition.
Ray Bradbury – First Printing Dust Jacket Identification Points
Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of Ray Bradbury’s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.
- L. W. Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction.