Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian-born composer and conductor. He is considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity, he first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. The latter transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design, his "Russian phase" which continued with works such as Renard, the Soldier's Tale and Les Noces, was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms, drawing on earlier styles from the 18th century. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures.
His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, of instrumentation. Stravinsky was born on 17 June 1882 in Oranienbaum, a suburb of Saint Petersburg, the Russian imperial capital, was brought up in Saint Petersburg, his parents were Fyodor Stravinsky, a well-known bass at the Kiev opera house and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Anna, a native of Kiev, one of four daughters of a high-ranking official in the Kiev Ministry of Estates. Fyodor, born into a mixed Polish-Russian family, was "descended from a long line of Polish grandees and landowners." It is believed that Stravinsky’s ancestry is traceable back to the 17th and 18th centuries, to the bearers of the Soulima and Strawinski Coat of Arms. Stravinsky's family branch most came from Stravinskas, polonized Lithuanian land owners, nobles of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to Stravinsky himself, his family had a Soulima-Stravinsky surname, the name "Stravinsky" originated from the word "Strava", one of the variants of the Streva River in Lithuania.
It is still unclear when the Soulima part of the surname was dropped. Stravinsky recalled his schooldays as being lonely saying that "I never came across anyone who had any real attraction for me". Stravinsky began piano lessons as a young boy, attempting composition. In 1890, he saw a performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre. By age fifteen, he had mastered Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in G minor and finished a piano reduction of a string quartet by Glazunov, who considered Stravinsky unmusical and thought little of his skills. Despite his enthusiasm for music, his parents expected him to study law. Stravinsky enrolled at the University of Saint Petersburg in 1901, but he attended fewer than fifty class sessions during his four years of study. In the summer of 1902, Stravinsky stayed with composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and his family in the German city of Heidelberg, where Rimsky-Korsakov, arguably the leading Russian composer at that time, suggested to Stravinsky that he should not enter the Saint Petersburg Conservatoire but instead study composing by taking private lessons, in large part because of his age.
Stravinsky's father died of cancer that year, by which time his son had begun spending more time on his musical studies than on law. The university was closed for two months in 1905 in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday: Stravinsky was prevented from taking his final law examinations and received a half-course diploma in April 1906. Thereafter, he concentrated on studying music. In 1905, he began to take twice-weekly private lessons from Rimsky-Korsakov, whom he came to regard as a second father; these lessons continued until Rimsky-Korsakov's death in 1908. In 1905, Stravinsky was engaged to his cousin Katherine Gavrylivna Nosenko, whom he had known since early childhood. In spite of the Orthodox Church's opposition to marriage between first cousins, the couple married on 23 January 1906: their first two children and Ludmila, were born in 1907 and 1908, respectively. In February 1909, two of Stravinsky's orchestral works, the Scherzo fantastique and Feu d'artifice were performed at a concert in Saint Petersburg, where they were heard by Serge Diaghilev, at that time involved in planning to present Russian opera and ballet in Paris.
Diaghilev was sufficiently impressed by Fireworks to commission Stravinsky to carry out some orchestrations and to compose a full-length ballet score, The Firebird. From 1890 until 1914 the composer visited Ustilug, a town in the modern Volyn Oblast, Ukraine, he spent most of his summers there. In 1907, Stravinsky designed and built his own house in Ustilug, which he called "my heavenly place". In this house, Stravinsky worked on seventeen of his early compositions, among them Feu d'artifice, The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. Renovated, the house is now a Stravinsky house-museum open to the public. Many documents and photographs are on display there, a Stravinsky Festival is held annually in the nearby town of Lutsk. Stravinsky became an overnight sensation following the success of the Firebird's premiere in Paris on 25 June 1910; the composer had travell
Willis H. O'Brien
Willis Harold O'Brien was an American motion picture special effects and stop-motion animation pioneer, who according to ASIFA-Hollywood "was responsible for some of the best-known images in cinema history," and is best remembered for his work on The Lost World, King Kong and Mighty Joe Young, for which he won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Willis O'Brien was born in California, he first left home at the age of eleven to work on cattle ranches, again at the age of thirteen when he took on a variety of jobs including farmhand, factory worker, fur trapper and bartender. During this time he competed in rodeos and developed an interest in dinosaurs while working as a guide to palaeontologists in Crater Lake region, he spent his spare time sculpting and illustrating and his natural talent led to him being employed first as draftsman in an architect's office and as a sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Daily News. During this time he became a professional boxer, winning his first nine bouts but retiring after an unsuccessful tenth.
He subsequently worked for the railroad, first as a brakeman and a surveyor, as a professional marble sculptor, was assistant to the head architect of the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair, where some of his work was displayed. During this time he made models, including a dinosaur and a caveman, which he animated with the assistance of a local newsreel cameraman. San Francisco exhibitor Herman Wobber saw this 90-second test footage and commissioned O'Brien to make his first film, The Dinosaur and the Missing Link: A Prehistoric Tragedy for a budget of $5,000. Thomas Edison was impressed by the film and O'Brien was hired by the Edison Company to animate a series of short films with a prehistoric theme, these included R. F. D. 10,000 B. C. and Prehistoric Poultry released as part of Conquest Pictures film packages for youth audiences. During this time he worked on other Edison Company productions including Sam Loyd's The Puzzling Billboard and Nippy's Nightmare, which were the first stop-motion films to combine live actors with stop motion models.
These films led to a commission from Herbert M. Dawley to write, direct, co-star and produce the effects for another dinosaur film, The Ghost of Slumber Mountain, for a budget of $3,000; the collaboration was not a happy one and Dawley cut the 45-minute film down to 11 minutes and claimed credit for O'Brien's pioneering effects work, which combined realistic stop-motion animated prehistoric models with live action. The film grossed over $100,000 and Dawley used the cut effects footage in a sequel Along the Moonbeam Trail and the documentary Evolution, but O'Brien received little financial reimbursement from this success; the film however did help to secure his position on Harry O. Hoyt's The Lost World. For his early, short films O'Brien created his own characters out of clay, although for much of his feature career he would employ Richard and Marcel Delgado to create much more detailed stop-motion models with rubber skin built up over complex, articulated metal armatures; the models contained a bladder inside the skeleton model that could be inflated and deflated to give the illusion of breathing.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who appeared in the prologue to the film based on his novel of the same name showed a reel of O'Brien's animation from the film to his friends, claiming it was real footage of living dinosaurs, to try to convince them that his story was based on fact. O'Brien was married Hazel Ruth Collette in 1925 and they had two sons together and Willis, Jr. but the marriage was an unhappy one, which O'Brien was forced into and rebelled against with drinking and extra-marital affairs. The couple had divorced by 1930 and the two boys remained with their mother, who had begun to show unbalanced behaviour. By 1931 Hazel had been diagnosed with cancer and tuberculosis, while William contracted tuberculosis resulting in blindness in one eye and the other. Throughout this time O'Brien worked with Hoyt on a series of cancelled projects included Atlantis for First National studio and Creation for RKO Pictures, cancelled in 1931 with only 20 minutes of effects footage to show for an estimated $120,000 development cost.
The studio's head of production, Merian C. Cooper, had recommended the cancellation of O'Brien's project as he thought the story was boring but he was impressed by the effects work and saw how it could be used to facilitate the development of his own pet project about a giant gorilla battling Komodo dragons. O'Brien and the dinosaur models he had created for the cancelled project were put to work on what was to become his best remembered film, King Kong; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences proposed giving O'Brien an Oscar for his technical effects on King Kong but Willis insisted that each of his crew receive an Oscar statue which the AMPAS refused to do, so O'Brien refused to accept the Oscar award for himself. This act of refusing his Oscar hurt O'Brien's reputation as a player in the Hollywood establishment, forever making him a semi-outsider in the industry, thus whose own film proposals were taken seriously. One of O'Brien's crew was Linwood G. Dunn, who did all of the optical composites for King Kong and Son of Kong, and, a future Treasurer and President of the AMPAS and who revealed this story in private conversations with various visual effects associates years long after O'Brien's death.
The success of King Kong led to the studio commissioning a hurried sequel Son of Kong, which O'Brien described as cheesy. With a limited budget and a s
Karel Čapek was a Czech writer and critic. He has become best known for his science fiction, including his novel War with the Newts and play R. U. R. which introduced the word robot. He wrote many politically charged works dealing with the social turmoil of his time. Influenced by American pragmatic liberalism, he campaigned in favor of free expression and opposed the rise of both fascism and communism in Europe. Though nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times, Čapek never received it. However, several awards commemorate his name, such as the Karel Čapek Prize, awarded every other year by the Czech PEN Club for literary work that contributes to reinforcing or maintaining democratic and humanist values in society, he played a key role in establishing the Czechoslovak PEN Club as a part of International PEN.Čapek died on the brink of World War II as the result of a lifelong medical condition, but his legacy as a literary figure became well established after the war. Karel Čapek was born in 1890 in the Bohemian mountain village of Malé Svatoňovice.
However, six months after his birth, the Čapek family moved to their own house in Úpice. His father, Antonín Čapek, worked as a doctor at the local textile factory. Antonín was a energetic person. Despite opposing his father's materialist and positivist views, Karel Čapek loved and admired his father calling him “a good example... of the generation of national awakeners.” Karel's mother, Božena Čapková, was a homemaker. Unlike her husband she did not like life in the country and she suffered from long-term depressions. Despite that, she assiduously collected and recorded local folklore, such as legends, songs or stories. Karel was the youngest of three siblings, he would maintain an close relationship with his brother Josef, a successful painter and working with him throughout his adult life. His sister, was a talented pianist who become a writer and published several memoirs about Karel and Josef. After finishing elementary school in Úpice, he moved with his grandmother to Hradec Králové, where he attended high school.
Two years he was expelled for taking part in an illegal students' club. Čapek described the club as a “very non-murderous anarchist society.” After this incident he moved to Brno with his sister and attempted to finish high school there, but two years he moved again, to Prague, where he finished high school at the Academic Grammar School in 1909. During his teenage years Čapek became enamored with the visual arts Cubism, which influenced his writing. After graduating from high school, he studied philosophy and aesthetics in Prague at Charles University, but he spent some time at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin and at the Sorbonne in Paris. While he was still a university student, he wrote some works on contemporary literature, he graduated with a doctorate of philosophy in 1915. Exempted from military service due to the spinal problems that would haunt him his whole life, Čapek observed World War I from Prague, his political views were affected by the war, as a budding journalist he began to write on topics like nationalism and consumerism.
Through social circles, the young author developed close relationships with many of the political leaders of the nascent Czechoslovak state, including Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Czechoslovak patriot and the first President of Czechoslovakia, his son Jan, who would become foreign secretary. T. G. Masaryk was a regular guest at Čapek's "Friday Men" garden parties for leading Czech intellectuals. Čapek was a member of Masaryk's Hrad political network. Their frequent conversations on various topics served as the basis for Čapek's Talks with T. G. Masaryk. Čapek began his writing career as a journalist. With his brother Josef, he worked as an editor for the Czech paper Národní listy from October 1917 to April 1921. Upon leaving, he and Josef joined the staff of Lidové noviny in April 1921.Čapek's early attempts at fiction were short stories and plays for the most part written with his brother Josef. Čapek's first international success was R. U. R. A dystopian work about a bad day at a factory populated with sentient androids.
The play was translated into English in 1922, was being performed in the UK and America by 1923. Throughout the 1920s, Čapek worked in many writing genres, producing both fiction and non-fiction, but worked as a journalist. In the 1930s, Čapek's work focused on the threat of brutal national socialist and fascist dictatorships, he became a member of International PEN and established, was the first president of, the Czechoslovak PEN Club. In 1935 Karel Čapek married actress Olga Scheinpflugová, after a long acquaintance. In 1938 it became clear that the Western allies, namely France and the United Kingdom, would fail to fulfil the pre-war agreements, they refused to defend Czechoslovakia against Nazi Germany. Although offered the chance to go to exile in England, Čapek refused to leave his country – though the Nazi Gestapo had named him "public enemy number two". While repairing flood damage to his family's summer house in Stará Huť, he contracted a common cold; as he had suffered all his life from spondyloarthritis and was a heavy smoker, Karel Čapek died of pneumonia, on 25 December 1938.
The Gestapo was not aware of his death. Several months just after the German invasion of Czechoslovakia, Nazi age
Stephen Jones (author)
Stephen Jones is an English editor of horror anthologies, the author of several book-length studies of horror and fantasy films as well as an account of H. P. Lovecraft's early British publications. Jones and Kim Newman have edited several books together, including Horror: 100 Best Books, the 1988 horror volume in Xanadu's 100 Best series, Horror: Another 100 Best Books, a 2005 sequel from Carroll & Graf; each comprises 100 essays by 100 horror writers about 100 horror books and each was recognised by the Horror Writers of America with its annual Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction. Jones has edited anthologies such as the Best New Horror series, Dark Terrors, The Mammoth Book of Vampires, The Mammoth Book of Zombies, The Mammoth Book of Dracula, The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein, The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women, The Vampire Stories of R. Chetwynd-Hayes, The Conan Chronicles, 1 and The Conan Chronicles, 2 by Robert E. Howard, Scream Quietly: The Best of Charles L. Grant. Jones edited Dancing with the Dark, a collection of stories of real life encounters with the paranormal by established horror writers.
Jones has been the recipient of many Bram Stoker Awards. His Mammoth book Best New Horror was a World Fantasy Award winner. Volume 22 of the annual anthology was published in 2011. 1984: World Fantasy Award: Special Award Non-Professional, for Fantasy Tales 1989: Bram Stoker Award, for Horror: 100 Best Books, shared with co-editor Kim Newman 1991: World Fantasy Award: Anthology, for Best New Horror 1992: Bram Stoker Award for Barker's Shadows in Eden 1996: International Horror Guild Award for Best New Horror 6 1998: Bram Stoker Award for Exorcisms and Ecstasies 1999: International Horror Guild Award for Dark Terrors 4 2002: World Fantasy Award: "Special Award Professional: for editing" 2003: International Horror Guild Award, for Dark Terrors 6 2005: Bram Stoker Award, for Horror: Another 100 Best Books, shared with co-editor Kim Newman 2017: Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award: Book of the Year, for The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History Official website Stephen Jones at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Stephen Jones at Fantastic Fiction Podcast audio interview with Stephen Jones Jones, Stephen, 1953– at Library of Congress Authorities, with 42 catalogue records
Brian Michael Stableford is a British science fiction writer who has published more than 70 novels. His earlier books were published under the name Brian M. Stableford, but more recent ones have dropped the middle initial and appeared under the name Brian Stableford, he has used the pseudonym Brian Craig for a couple of early works, again for a few more recent works. The pseudonym derives from the first names of himself and of a school friend from the 1960s, Craig A. Mackintosh, with whom he jointly published some early work. Born at Shipley, Stableford graduated with a degree in biology from the University of York in 1969 before going on to do postgraduate research in biology and in sociology. In 1979 he received a Ph. D. with a doctoral thesis on "The Sociology of Science Fiction". Until 1988, he worked as a lecturer in sociology at the University of Reading. Since he has been a full-time writer and a part-time lecturer at several universities for classes concerning subjects such as creative writing.
He has been married twice, has a son and a daughter by his first marriage. 2011 Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards, Special Award. The Days of Glory In the Kingdom of the Beasts Day of Wrath The Halcyon Drift; this series is related to, though not always consistent with, the 8 collections and 3 novels subtitled "Tales of the Biotech Revolution", see below. The term "emortality", intended to indicate near-immortality as opposed to absolute immortality, is acknowledged by Stableford to have been coined by Alvin Silverstein in his 1979 book, Conquest of Death. In the introduction to his 2007 collection, The Tree of Life and Other Tales of the Biotech Revolution, Stableford describes this series as "tracking the potential effects of possible developments in biotechnology on the evolution of global society. A modified version of the future history mapped out in The Third Millennium: A History of the World AD 2000-3000. "The broad sweep of this future history envisages a large-scale economic and ecological collapse in the 21st-century brought about by global warming and other factors, followed by the emergence of a global society designed to accommodate human longevity."
The Cassandra Complex. Interzone #16 Summer 1986 The Dragon Man: A Novel of the Future.
First Czechoslovak Republic
The First Czechoslovak Republic was the Czechoslovak state that existed from 1918 to 1938. The state was called Czechoslovakia, it was composed of Bohemia, Czech Silesia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia. After 1933, Czechoslovakia remained the only functioning democracy in Central Europe. Under pressure from its Sudeten German minority, supported by neighbouring Nazi Germany, Czechoslovakia was forced to cede its Sudetenland region to Germany on 1 October 1938 as part of the Munich Agreement, it ceded southern parts of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia to Hungary and the Zaolzie region in Silesia to Poland. This, in effect, ended the First Czechoslovak Republic, it was replaced by the Second Czechoslovak Republic, which lasted less than half a year before Germany occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. The independence of Czechoslovakia was proclaimed on 28 October 1918 by the Czechoslovak National Council in Prague. Several ethnic groups and territories with different historical and economic traditions were obliged be blended into a new state structure.
The origin of the First Republic lies in Point 10 of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points: "The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development." The full boundaries of the country and the organization of its government was established in the Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk had been recognized by World War I Allies as the leader of the Provisional Czechoslovak Government, in 1920 he was elected the country's first president, he was re-elected in 1925 and 1929, serving as President until 14 December 1935 when he resigned due to poor health. He was succeeded by Edvard Beneš. Following the Anschluss of Nazi Germany and Austria in March 1938, the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's next target for annexation was Czechoslovakia, his pretext was the privations suffered by ethnic German populations living in Czechoslovakia's northern and western border regions, known collectively as the Sudetenland.
Their incorporation into Nazi Germany would leave the rest of Czechoslovakia powerless to resist subsequent occupation. To a large extent, Czechoslovak democracy was held together by the country's first president, Tomáš Masaryk; as the principal founding father of the republic, Masaryk was regarded similar to the way George Washington is regarded in the United States. Such universal respect enabled Masaryk to overcome irresolvable political problems. Masaryk is still regarded as the symbol of Czechoslovak democracy; the Constitution of 1920 approved the provisional constitution of 1918 in its basic features. The Czechoslovak state was conceived as a parliamentary democracy, guided by the National Assembly, consisting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, whose members were to be elected on the basis of universal suffrage; the National Assembly was responsible for legislative initiative and was given supervisory control over the executive and judiciary as well. Every seven years it elected the president and confirmed the cabinet appointed by him.
Executive power was to be shared by the cabinet. The reality differed somewhat from this ideal, during the strong presidencies of Masaryk and his successor, Beneš; the constitution of 1920 provided for the central government to have a high degree of control over local government. From 1928 and 1940, Czechoslovakia was divided into the four "lands". Although in 1927 assemblies were provided for Bohemia and Ruthenia, their jurisdiction was limited to adjusting laws and regulations of the central government to local needs; the central government appointed one third of the members of these assemblies. The constitution identified the "Czechoslovak nation" as the creator and principal constituent of the Czechoslovak state and established Czech and Slovak as official languages; the concept of the Czechoslovak nation was necessary in order to justify the establishment of Czechoslovakia towards the world, because otherwise the statistical majority of the Czechs as compared to Germans would have been rather weak, there would have been more Germans in the state than Slovaks.
National minorities were assured special protection. The operation of the new Czechoslovak government was distinguished by stability. Responsible for this were the well-organized political parties that emerged as the real centers of power. Excluding the period from March 1926 to November 1929, when the coalition did not hold, a coalition of five Czechoslovak parties constituted the backbone of the government: Republican Party of Agricultural and Smallholder People, Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party, Czechoslovak National Social Party, Czechoslovak People's Party, Czechoslovak National Democratic Party; the leaders of these parties became known as the "Pětka". The Pětka was headed by Antonín Švehla, who held the office of prime minister for most of the 1920s and designed a pattern of coalition politics that survived until 1938; the coalition's policy was expressed in the slogan "We have agreed that we will agree." German parties participated in the government in the beginning of 1926. Hungarian p
Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction and mystery fiction. Known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, his science-fiction and horror-story collections, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, I Sing the Body Electric, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers. While most of his best known work is in speculative fiction, he wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale. Recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 Pulitzer Citation, Bradbury wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted to comic book and film formats. Upon his death in 2012, The New York Times called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream". Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, to Esther Bradbury, a Swedish immigrant, Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, a power and telephone lineman of English ancestry.
He was given the middle name "Douglas" after the actor Douglas Fairbanks. Bradbury was related to the American Shakespeare scholar Douglas Spaulding and descended from Mary Bradbury, tried at one of the Salem witch trials in 1692. Bradbury was surrounded by an extended family during his early childhood and formative years in Waukegan. An aunt read him short stories; this period provided foundations for his stories. In Bradbury's works of fiction, 1920s Waukegan becomes Illinois; the Bradbury family lived in Tucson, during 1926–1927 and 1932–1933 while their father pursued employment, each time returning to Waukegan. They settled in Los Angeles in 1934 when Bradbury was 14 years old; the family arrived with only US$40, which paid for rent and food until his father found a job making wire at a cable company for $14 a week. This meant that they could stay, Bradbury—who was in love with Hollywood—was ecstatic. Bradbury was active in the drama club, he roller-skated through Hollywood in hopes of meeting celebrities.
Among the creative and talented people Bradbury met were special-effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen and radio star George Burns. Bradbury's first pay as a writer, at age 14, was for a joke he sold to George Burns to use on the Burns and Allen radio show. Throughout his youth, Bradbury was an avid reader and writer and knew at a young age that he was "going into one of the arts." Bradbury began writing his own stories at age 11, during the Great Depression — sometimes writing on the only available paper, butcher paper. In his youth, he spent much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, reading such authors as H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe. At 12, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about 18. In addition to comics, he loved Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan of the Apes Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series; the Warlord of Mars impressed him so much. The young Bradbury was a cartoonist and loved to illustrate, he drew his own Sunday panels.
He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, every night when the show went off the air, he would sit and write the entire script from memory. As a teen in Beverly Hills, he visited his mentor and friend science-fiction writer Bob Olsen, sharing ideas and maintaining contact. In 1936, at a secondhand bookstore in Hollywood, Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Excited to find there were others sharing his interest, Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave at age 16. Bradbury cited H. G. Jules Verne as his primary science-fiction influences. Bradbury identified with Verne, saying, "He believes the human being is in a strange situation in a strange world, he believes that we can triumph by behaving morally". Bradbury admitted that he stopped reading science-fiction books in his 20s and embraced a broad field of literature that included Alexander Pope and poet John Donne. Bradbury had just graduated from high school when he met Robert Heinlein 31 years old.
Bradbury recalled, "He was well known, he wrote humanistic science fiction, which influenced me to dare to be human instead of mechanical."In young adulthood Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, read everything by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A. E. van Vogt. The family lived about four blocks from the Fox Uptown Theatre on Western Avenue in Los Angeles, the flagship theater for MGM and Fox. There, Bradbury learned how to sneak in and watched previews every week, he rollerskated there, as well as all over town, as he put it, "hell-bent on getting autographs from glamorous stars. It was glorious." Among stars the young Bradbury was thrilled to encounter were Norma Shearer and Hardy, Ronald Colman. Sometimes, he spent all day in front of Paramount Pictures or Columbia Pictures and skated to the Brown Derby to watch the stars who came and went for meals, he recounted seeing Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, whom he learned made a regular appearance every Friday night, bodyguard in tow.
Bradbury relates the following meeting with Sergei Bondarchuk, director of Soviet epic film series War and Peace, at a Hollywood award ceremony in Bondarchuk's honor: They forme