I haven't been following stamp issues too closely over the last few years, although I still collect some new issues.
The general rule in Phil's country is that no living persons except royalty could be featured on stamps. The deceased could be honored on anniversaries - 25th, 50th and so on. By extension, the same rule used to apply in Australia and elsewhere, but the Aussies have ditched it and now feature outstanding living people on stamps. South Africa, same thing.
I'm not sure what rules still obtain in the U.S., but I hope we see a Ray stamp eventually.
There are countries that issue reams of stamps, often cashing in on topical themes and subjects that have nothing to do with the country (some Caribbean islands, for example). So I'm sure countries like that won't miss the chance to feature Ray on a stamp.
But the only stamp that counts will be a U.S. stamp. I hope that happens, and I think it will. But we may have to wait for an anniversary - 2020, perhaps?
I find it humorous that the "First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs" can be reached by twitter and facebook. Sigh...
Given the options, I think the postage stamp would be the best. Something magical about it. And hopefully it might inspire people to write an actual letter. By hand.
The U.S. Post Office has announced a series of 5 stamps featuring science fiction writers, to be issued later this year (one source says July).
I was surprised to learn that the five writers to be featured haven't been announced yet, since details of a year's stamp program are announced well in advance for most popular stamp issuing countries.
Sadly, I don't think we'll see Ray on one of these stamps. The previous ten year rule has been relaxed to five years (the waiting period after a person's passing), but that still doesn't allow Ray in. Or is there going to be a huge surprise?
Asimov and Heinlein look like shoo-ins. Philip K. Dick has a strong chance. Octavia Butler may be in there. Personally, I'd love to see Ted Sturgeon in the series.
For a discussion thread speculating about this, see:
By the way, I have found one Ray-related stamp: a 1998 San Marino stamp featuring Fahrenheit 451 (part of a series featuring famous SF novels).
Here's a link (by a freakish coincidence, it's in my native language, Afrikaans):
Let's wait and see.
Good choices all, especially if the five-year-since-death rule applies.
I appreciate the idea behind that stamp, but I don't care too much for the books glued to the characters' foreheads!
Colnect appears to be a good stamp collecting resource, btw, and maybe I should make a proper catalog of all my stamps. It's available in many languages; it's just a coincidence that the Arikaans one came up when I googled. Or maybe my version of Google has a built-in local bias.
My final prediction is:
Asimov, Heinlein, Dick, Catherine Moore, Octavia Butler. Butler is not only an iconic writer, but promotes demographic inclusiveness.
But my choice, if it were up to me, would be:
Asimov, Bradbury, Sturgeon, Sheldon, Butler. I like Heinlein just fine, but I have only five spots available!
Sheldon is of course Alice Bradley Sheldon, more famous as James Tiptree, Jr.
Catherine Moore is an interesting choice, but strikes me as a bit unlikely (not so famous).
I see that people are assuming these SF writers will be prose fiction writers - but I wonder if the stamp folks might include TV/film writers. This could open the door (or letterbox) for Roddenberry or Serling...
On the other hand, they might have a perverse literary bent and go for Twain and Poe. Somewhat marginal to SF, but not completely outside of it.
Catherine - better known as C. L. Moore - was famous as one half of the Kuttner/Moore husband & wife team that often published collaborative tales as Lewis Padgett or Lawrence O'Donnell.
But on her own, she was quietly influential. In the last three years, two giant teaching anthologies - The Wesleyan Anthology of SF and Sense of Wonder - have appeared, both featuring the same Moore story, "Shambleau" (1932), in which more than trace elements of a feminist sensibility can be discerned, more than three decades before Russ, Tiptree, Le Guin and others.
And the 1946 story "Vintage Season", often credited to Moore alone, but sometimes to the Kuttner/Moore team, is still counted among the finest SF novellas ever written (see the recent Locus Poll, for example).
The key to her rating is the dateline - I don't think any other woman writer with a pure genre background was popular and successful as early in the game as she was.
Poe is a surprisingly credible suggestion by Phil.
I used to say that "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" (1835) was the first indisputable science fiction story (as opposed to fantasy or a hoax story)short of novel length. I saw an article somewhere on the internet positing the same idea.
And of course he wrote a number of others later.
Yes, Poe is a significant figure to SF, horror, detective fiction and probably other genres as well. But I noted him as marginal because those other genres have tended to overshadow the SF material he produced.
You make a very good case for Moore, douglasSP. She was, of course, also influential on Ray Bradbury, as a friend, mentor and inspiration.
The only female I can think of from the same era is Leigh Brackett. I think your argument about "Shambleau" makes Moore a more likely choice than Brackett.
Who would be the five science fiction writers on stamps if Ray Bradbury could have chosen them?
Let's see ... Brackett, Kuttner, Moore ... who else? Hasse? Heinlein? Carl Sagan? Poe? Melville (he has an ISFDB entry)?
Tough question, dSP.
Five of Mr. B's greatest influences:
Papa E. A. Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Heinlein, Henry Kuttner, and, of course, Leigh Brackett!
Depends when you asked him, but I think Wells and Burroughs would be there as he often spoke of their influence.
I never heard Ray speak of Poe in relation to SF, but he did sometimes talk of Melville in this way, but only metaphorically.
For mentoring he always spoke of Heinlein, and for mentoring and friendship he always spoke of Kuttner and Brackett - and along with those often came Moore and Edmond Hamilton.
Difficult getting it down to five!
By the way, I don't think I ever heard Ray speak of Sagan in relation to SF. Sagan published one work of fiction, and that was decades after Ray had effectively stopped reading new SF.
Interesting that three of Mr B's favourite writers were named Edgar - Poe, Burroughs, and Wallace!
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