Avon, Connecticut: The Limited Editions Club, 1974. Joseph Mugnaini. Signed Limited Edition. Hardcover. This is a pristine copy of the strikingly handsome Limited Editions Club edition. There were 2000 copies of this edition issued, each signed by both the author and the illustrator. This particular copy is unnumbered, acquired from the publisher’s archives and hence in truly fine, as-new condition, still in the original glassine wrapper and slipcase. The original glassine wrapper shows some toning and wrinkling attributable to age, but is entirely complete, with no loss or tears. The only appreciable blemish to the near fine slipcase is an unobtrusive ripple to a portion of one illustrated paper-covered side.
The edition is bound in full silk-screened black buckram with endpapers and slipcase in matching design and black speckled page edges that complement the binding, slipcase, and endpaper design. Illustrated with eleven color lithographs drawn on plates by Joseph Mugnaini and additional black and white illustrations at chapter headings and within the text. Bradbury signed in red and Mugnaini in blue on the limitation page. The substantial volume measures 10.75 by 7.75 inches.
The Martian Chronicles was Bradbury’s first major work, a collection of short stories, some of which had been previously published in magazines. Bradbury paints a compelling vision of a Mars that was, supplanted by a Mars that humans colonized and squandered, and thereafter the intimation of a Mars that might be, all of this a backdrop for the destructive energies and perennial seeds of hope endemic to humanity. Since 1950, the learned realities of a far more sterile Mars than Bradbury imagined for us have not diminished Bradbury’s tale.
For the introduction to this Limited Editions Club edition Martin Gardner wrote: “Critics have said it is Bradbury’s best book because there is more science in it than in his other books. I believe the opposite to be true… That is not a weakness… That is why, long after Mars has become a hearth to us, The Martian Chronicles will keep on stirring imaginations, arousing laughter and tears, and haunting the minds of those who have not forgotten how to read.” More than half a century after The Martian Chronicles was first published, in 2008, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander carried a DVD containing Bradbury’s story to the Martian surface.
Raymond Douglas Bradbury (1920-2012) was a versatile and prolific American author best known for his science fiction. Bradbury devoted several hours a day to writing throughout his life and produced nearly 30 books, 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, screenplays, and plays. The Bradbury family moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and Bradbury's first remuneration for writing came from a joke he wrote for George Burns. His first story was published in 1938, the year he graduated from high school. The following year he published four issues of his own magazine, writing all of the content, sometimes under pseudonyms to hide the fact that it was a one-man operation.
Rejected for military service in WWII because of poor eyesight, Bradbury became a full-time writer in 1943. He wrote well into his 80’s, earning a host of accolades from both fans and fellow writers. The Science Fiction Writers of America named him their 10th Grand Master in 1989. An asteroid is named after him, and a crater on the Moon is named after his novel Dandelion Wine. In 2007, Bradbury received a special citation from the Pulitzer board for his "distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.” His New York Times obituary called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream." This is a beautifully preserved copy of a striking edition of perhaps his most iconic work.
Reference: LEC 480. Item #004621