HE’S finally gone, at 91, the last titan of the era when sci-fi fandom was a way of life. The maestros of that tight world were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein — and Ray Bradbury. You had to put Bradbury in that rank, even though your mom read him in The Saturday Evening Post. That could get embarrassing for those of us in the sci-fi hard core.
His pedigree was impeccable, though. He came from “Lassfuss,” the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, a primeval caldron of sci-fi geek culture, founded in 1934. In my own caldron of Austin, our literary mentor, Chad Oliver, came to us from Lassfuss. He told how he and Bradbury and the “Twilight Zone” screenwriter Charles Beaumont would hunt for all-night burger joints, talking sci-fi until dawn.