August 22, 2020 is Ray Bradbury’s 100th birthday. PulpFest is celebrating Bradbury as part of their 2020 theme of “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage.” The August 6-9 convention is still planned for its physical location in Pittsburgh, PA. I will be giving a presentation at PulpFest 2020 about how pulp authors like Bradbury envisioned the red planet. I briefly outline this material in my new article, Visions of Mars: The Pulp Years which is live on the PulpFest site today. Here’s a clip:
THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES
The first story to be published from THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES is the “The Million Year Picnic” (PLANET STORIES, Summer 1946). Appearing last in Bradbury’s book, the tale isn’t about Martians at all. . . . At least, not at first. Its readers eventually discover a whole new race of Martians. You’d recognize one of them if you looked in a mirror.
THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES constructs a complex pastiche of Mars, as imagined by Ray Bradbury. Many of the stories are melancholic, wistful. The book’s Martians are frequently dangerous, but not in ordinary ways. In “The Earth Men” (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, August 1948) the first humans to land on Mars are taken for madmen. They end up in a Martian insane asylum and are considered incurable….