For many years, Clifton's Cafeteria was the meeting place for the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), which back in the late 1930's counted among its many members Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman and Ray Harryhausen. The LASFS and Clifton's served as "breeding grounds" for a whole generation of professionals in the science fiction and fantasy fields. Below is a link to an article appearing on the excellent website of First Fandom Experience, publisher of the forthcoming book THE EARLIEST BRADBURY, describing Ray's experiences at Clifton's. Sadly, Clifton's Cafeteria closed its doors in or about 2018, and the venue now operates as a nightclub.
And for an article in the Los Angeles Times describing how Ray Bradbury returned to Clifton's in 2009 to celebrate his 89th birthday, you can click on the link below:
https://www.latimes.com/archiv...radbury19-story.htmlThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Richard,
As noted in the post directly above, for many years, Clifton's Cafeteria was the place where the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS) would meet. In 1938, noted LA fan T. Bruce Yerke invited another local fan, one Ray Bradbury, to attend a meeting of the LASFS. Ray did so, and became an active member of the LASFS, where he mingled with other members such as Forrest J Ackerman and Ray Harryhausen. And the rest, as they say, is history. Ray remained friends with Mr. Yerke, and many years later inscribed a copy of the Swiss edition of FAHRENHEIT 451 (published in the German language) to him. The cover of that book can be viewed by click on the link below.
IMG_0018.jpg (53 Kb, 17 downloads)
And continuing the post above, the link below will take to to a photo of that wonderful inscription. It reads:
WITH ADMIRATION &
*FORMERLY OF CLIFTON'S
IMG_0019.jpg (44 Kb, 25 downloads)
To learn more about the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society and early science fiction fandom, the link below will take you to Bruce Yerke's fanzine on the subject, MEMOIRS OF A SUPERFLUOUS FAN, originally published in 1944 and reprinted in 1992. And yes, young Ray Bradbury is mentioned a few times!
What a microscopically detailed Memoir this is! It is an eye-opening piece, Richard.
As Mr. Yerke indicates in his 1992 opening, "Some Prefatory Note and Warnings in Real Time," the powerful changes of emotional perspectives and demanding time restraints everyone was experiencing due to wartime happenings influenced all of the young writers he mentions throughout the opening 1944 publication.
That being said, my immediate impression as I skimmed through the information contained in the twenty-six page publication, "Memoirs of a Superfluous Fan," was, "How could a writer just moving out of his teens (1937), be so intricately aware of not only the writings of Wells, Burroughs, Verne, Nowlan, et al, but able to offer such a powerfully critical review as is presented in this rather long dissertation!?" *
The young Bruce Yerke is highly critical of Forrest Ackerman, at first, although he did politely refer to him as "Mr. Ackerman," to which he received a bit of laughter from other established members of the gathering. He speaks quite highly at the very outset of his meetings with and interpretations of Ray Bradbury's works and keenly humorous personality and conversations (pgs. 14,16,17).
Yerke seems directly sarcastic of many of the frequenters to the meetings and maintains a rather critical tone from beginning of his viewpoints but not quite to the conclusion, where he reflects:
"Nineteen thirty seven and 1938 go hand in hand in my interpretation of the club’s chronology. Though the latter year differed from the previous because of the emphasis on publishing activity, the stage was peopled with essentially the same characters and the same spontaneity among the membership. I like those days and weeks, partly, I suppose, because there was a certain element of newness for me in associating with a group of this nature. We actually did live in comparative harmony then; there were few if any frictions, and very little gossip.
The old LASFL was perhaps the ideal fan organization because each and every member had an earnest, sincere interest in science fiction and its hobby aspects. The activity was therefore undiluted with cynicism, vicarious motivation, and petty jealousy which later wrecked the LASFS. And there were no members whose presence was the resented by the rest, another feature of the late LASFS which caused much unpleasantness!"
* So! How could one young writer from Montana and another from Waukegan, Illinois, become such a prolific literary critic and creative writer across numerous genre? Everyone motivated during these historic eras "Read Books!" They worked hard to get by and were inspired by others who had done the same before them. Their interests were not limited and, thus, their accomplishments became timeless.
Like Ray Bradbury and his FUTURIA FANTASIA, Bruce Yerke also published a fanzine in the early 1940's. His magazine was called THE DAMN THING, and Ray Bradbury was a contributor to some issues. The link below will take you to the cover of the December, 1940 issue of THE DAMN THING, with Ray not only contributing a story ("Genie Trouble"), but also the cover art. At one of Ray's Chicago book-signings in the 1990's, I took along my copy of that issue of THE DAMN THING, and asked Ray if he would sign the cover. Ray looked at his cover art, smiled and shook his head, and said, "Isn't that awful?" He then signed the magazine, and said he was also going to grade his artwork. The grade he wrote down next to his signature: "F Minus"! (Hey, I didn't know there was even a grade below an "F"!)
IMG_0021.jpg (27 Kb, 26 downloads)
From the outstanding website File 770, Mike Glyer reminisces in a column entitled, "A LASFSian Remembers Ray Bradbury":
|Powered by Social Strata|