Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sam Weller  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1967 in Lake Forest, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Weller was born in Lake Forest, Illinois and currently resides in Chicago. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Weller is a teacher, journalist and author, best known as Ray Bradbury's official biographer. In 2005 he wrote the book ''The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury''. Weller also lectures frequently on the life and works of Ray Bradbury.He has also recently partnered with colleague Mort Castle to assemble a group of literary giants to pay tribute to Ray Bradbury with an anthology ''Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury''. Among the Illinois authors participating in the anthology are Jay Bonansinga, Audrey Niffenegger, John McNally, Julie Keller and Joe Meno.Weller is the former Midwest Correspondent for ''Publisher's Weekly'', former staff writer for the alternative weekly Newcity, a regular contributor to the ''Chicago Tribune Magazine'', a regular literary critic for the ''Chicago Tribune'', ''Chicago Sun-Times'', and the now defunct ''Punk Planet'' magazine. He is also a contributing writer for the Chicago Public Radio program 848, and his work has appeared on the National Public Radio program ''All Things Considered''. He is also a contributor to In addition to freelance writing, Weller is also a full time faculty member of the Fiction Department at Columbia College Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Secret Chicago: The Unique Guidebook to Chicago's Hidden Sites, Sounds & Tastes (Secret Guides)
ISBN: 155022493X

ECW Press. 2002

The Unique Guidebook to Chicago's Hidden Sites, Sounds & Tastes

The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury
ISBN: 006054581X

William Morrow. 2005

Ray Bradbury is an American literary icon, an architect of wonders whose life has been as fascinating, momentous, and inspiring as his fiction, which has enthralled millions of readers the world over for more than six decades.

Born Rae Douglas Bradbury on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, he displayed an affinity for the fantastic at an early age -- spending hours at the local movie theater, fighting his fear of the dark to escape into glorious made-up worlds. Though he once dreamed of becoming an actor, writing was his true calling, and he remained resolute in his art throughout his early adult years despite numerous rejections -- finally breaking through with publications of his horror and fantasy stories in the "pulp" magazines of the forties. It was not long before he ascended to a higher literary plane, creating the acclaimed works that would solidify his place as one of the most important and influential authors of the twentieth century: Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine, to name a very few.

Award-winning journalist Sam Weller has been granted unparalleled access to Bradbury's private archives, and has spent hundreds of hours interviewing longtime friends, family members, colleagues, and the author himself. As a result, Weller gives us a uniquely balanced, in-depth, and utterly remarkable portrait of a remarkable man, the life story up until now of a brilliant visionary artist and enigmatic mass of contradictions -- the writer who envisioned rocket travel to the stars but who never learned to drive a car the futurist who brought astonishing tomorrows to life yet refuses to operate a computer the passionate free spirit who remained devotedly married to one woman -- his beloved Marguerite -- for more than fifty years.

The Bradbury Chronicles is, at once, a poignant love story, an inspiring tale of struggle and accomplishment, and a spellbinding record of an extraordinary era in America's history and the man who helped define it. Here is Ray Bradbury -- dreamer, author, humanist, poet, innovator -- a one-of-a-kind literary force of nature whose extraordinary life can now be celebrated along with the enduring masterworks with which he has graced the world.

Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews
ISBN: 1935554034

Stop Smiling Books. 2010

A definitive collection of interviews with one of America's most famous writers, covering his life, faith, friends, politics, and visions of the future.

Ray Bradbury, the poetic and visionary author of such classics as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man, is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. From Mikhail Gorbachev to Alfred Hitchcock to David Bowie, Bradbury’s sway on contemporary culture is towering. Acclaimed biographer and Bradbury scholar Sam Weller has spent more than a decade interviewing the author the fascinating conversations that emerge cast a high-definition portrait of a creative genius and a futurist who longs for yesterday. Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews is the definitive collection of interviews with an American icon.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)