Author Ray Bradbury, known for writing about Mars and places beyond our physical grasp, got his writing start at the age of 12 right here in Tucson. In 1995, he told the Weekly's Jim Nintzel about his humble beginnings: "My parents gave me a primitive, $6 typewriter for Christmas in 1932 and I began to write short stories about landing on the moon and going off to Mars," Bradbury recalls. "I worked alone, I believed in what I did and I didn't listen to anyone who doubted me."
That enterprising spirit led Bradbury to publish hundreds of short stories and close to 50 books, including Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, according to raybradbury.com.
Special Collections at the UA Libraries, 1510 E. University Blvd., has Mars Madness: Sci-Fi, Popular Culture and Ray Bradbury's Literary Journey to Outer Space on display through Aug. 1. There you will find original works written by Bradbury, pulp sci-fi magazines, photos of Mars, movie memorabilia, sci-fi related toys and more. Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. More info at speccoll.library.arizona.edu.