To know me is to know that I am a fan of author Ray Bradbury. I was first introduced to his writing in 4th grade with the story “All Summer in a Day” — a story that still haunts me to this day. Sometime in middle school I read “A Sound of Thunder” and was blown away. In high school it was The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, not to mention many of his other short stories.
The back of my business card contains a Bradbury quote:
I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bradbury in 1992, on my 25th birthday, when he signing his book Green Shadows, White Whale at (the now defunct) Fahrenheit 451 bookstore in Laguna Beach, CA. He graciously listened to me talk about how I wanted to be a writer and that I was feeling defeated by not having been published by the age of twenty-five. He shared with me encouraging words, forbade me to give up, and to never stop dreaming. And, he signed my copy of Green Shadows, White Whale…
Last week, on what was Ray Bradbury’s 96th birthday, I posted on this very site about how he has served as a muse of mine over the years — Happy Birthday, Ray! The following day it occurred to me that the man’s 100th birthday was only four years away, and that if any man deserved to be honored on the centennial of their birth it would be Ray Bradbury. Now, I have no doubt that there will be numerous honors and dedications posthumously bestowed upon the author in 2020, but I wanted to do something as well.
And, that something is By Way Of Ray. In the next three and a half years I hope to gather 100 original short stories by 100 different authors all inspired by Ray Bradbury to publish as a collection in the author’s honor by August 22, 2020. So, this post here on GeekPunk.com serves as the first official announcement of my intention to honor the man responsible for inspiring so many renown authors such as Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, as well as countless other writers whose stories may forever stay stashed away in desk drawers or computer hard drives. And, while I do hope to get a well-known author or two — or dozen — to contribute to By Way Of Ray, my goal is to provide an opportunity to unpublished writers an opportunity to be published as well.
Now, exact details are still being hammered out, but that is why I’m starting this project now as opposed to January 2020. So, if you’re a writer inspired by Ray Bradbury who might be interested in contributing a “Bradburyesque” short story to the By Way Of Ray collection please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can like the By Way Of Ray Facebook page and/or follow @bywayofray on Twitter. Even if you’re not a writer wishing to contribute, but you’re a fan of Ray Bradbury, you might want to stay tuned as well.