Ray Bradbury and the American West (CFP)

The Tucson Bradbury Chronicles: Mars _is_ The West

Edited by Gloria McMillan

Although this essay collection is keyed to the fact that Ray Bradbury spent a formative teen year in Tucson, Arizona, that impressed his young mind, largely shaping his metaphorical Mars, we are interested in broader issues and perspectves about Ray Bradbury as a bridge-builder and boundary-crosser.

He took up issues only now gaining something like a full airing. “I See You Never,” (The New Yorker, Nov. 8, 1947) is perhaps the first story in an American literary magazine taking up the plight of undocumented Mexican workers in the US.

In The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury worked on the tough post-colonial issues of what a frontier colonial culture does to an old indigenous culture.

Bradbury also had insights that have influenced our space program’s methods and philosophy, due to his emphasis on the unintended epidemiological consecuences of space exploration. Our local Tucson astronomical community The University of Arizona launched the first mission to Mars administered by a public university. A copy of  The Martian Chronicles was aboard the Phoenix Mars Lander, making it the start of the first public library on Mars.

Our working group envisions an anthology of chapters from various points-of-view and disciplines. We will have historians, astronomers, cultural and literary theorists, local essayists from the science fiction creative writing community, film scholars (Bradbury’s works have famous film adaptations), cultural astronomers, and one artist.

Please contact Gloria McMillan for a further discussion on bringing this book to publication and your possible contribution to this collection. The University of Arizona Press is interested.

Your input is very welcome at this stage!

Gloria McMillan at glomc@dakotacom.net


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