Ray Bradbury & the Printed Man

Just yesterday we were corresponding with someone regarding ongoing research into the printing and publishing work of Roy A. Squires, and mentioned in passing that Ray Bradbury seemed to be the last living author who had worked with Squires. And now there are none. Although Bradbury's writing has never grabbed us (most science fiction does not age well; in 1984 Neuromancer was a revelation, but try reading it now), one of his books is fundamentally responsible for HM's fall into book collecting, and ultimately into letterpress printing and publishing. In the early '90s a deluxe copy of the Lord John Press edition of The Last Circus & The Electrocution was on sale (half price; big deal - copies are still available from LJP) at Vancouver's Colophon Books (now long gone & much missed). It was coveted but avoided, as we knew that its purchase would lead down an expensive rabbit hole. Unfortunately, it appeared one day as an anniversary gift, and that was that. The stories didn't light big fires, but the book itself - the thing, the distinction of states within an edition - beguiled. It was printed by Grant Dahlstrom at the Castle Press (huh?), and the deluxe was on different paper than the trade - what the hell did that mean? Acquisitions quickly piled up, the distinction of letterpress printing introduced, the finer points of binding discovered, all eventually leading to the abandonment of a reasonably remunerative (but largely dull) career, replaced by the press and bench. With no regrets, and many thanks to Ray for helping tip us over the edge.