Welcome to my web site, which I find a rather nice touch because my new novel, FROM THE DUST RETURNED has many strange creatures in it including a rather intellectual spider. So I'm glad to be here to try to explain to you something about my life.
I have been and continue to be asked many questions about my life and my work. The two questions that are asked most often are: "Where are you from and how did you get here?" and, "Where do you get your ideas?"
I'm from Northern Illinois. I grew up there until I was fourteen, in a small town, Waukegan, a town which I have written about many times over the years in books like SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and DANDELION WINE. It became so much a part of my life and my thinking that I couldn't stop remembering it and writing about it. It was a great place for a child to grow up because I lived on a block where there were three Bradbury families.
Among the three houses I had an immediately available lending library. Over in "the big house," where my grandmother and grandfather lived, there were incredible numbers of books like ALICE IN WONDERLAND, THE WIZARD OF OZ, GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES, and many other wonderful collections of short stories and novels.
My Uncle Bion lived around the other side of the block. In his house were all the Edgar Rice Burroughs books about the planet Mars and Tarzan of the Apes.
Running back and forth between these two houses and inhabiting my own house where my father sat every night reading Argosy magazine, I grew up with a plentiful supply of books to be read. Even after I'd finished a particular book, I'd find my imagination racing, wondering what the characters might do next.
I began to think about being a writer when I was eight years old because I saw the covers of the wonderful new magazines Amazing and Wonder Stories. The covers were so beautiful and so enchanting that I decided then and there that some day I would slip between the covers of those magazines and never come out, which is what I finally did. It was such a beautiful place to live, I thought.
Beyond that there was Blackstone the Magician who came to my town when I was seven years old. I ran up on the stage and helped him make an elephant disappear. He gave me a rabbit named Tilly who I took home. She delivered six more rabbits abracadabra! That was a magic act all in itself!
I decided at that time also that I wanted to grow up to become a magician. That's just about what happened, isn't it? People call me a science fiction writer, but I don't think that's quite true. I think that I'm a magician who is capable of making things appear and disappear right in front of you and you don't know how it happened.
That's all for now. Next time I'll tell you the secret of how I really got started writing when I was twelve and met another magician, Mr. Electrico.
Until then, with great affection,