Last month came the sad news that the legendary writer Ray Bradbury died after a long illness. His website lists his many achievements here.
I have long been an avid reader of science fiction, and confess the ‘old’ style is still my favourite. Give me Azimov and Bradbury every time over most modern authors. I can’t claim to have read everything Bradbury wrote, but I have read a lot. But not for a long while.
When the news came of his death, I searched my bookshelves for his books – and to my surprise, I found none. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have a single copy. My book cases get so full that periodically I get rid of those books I don’t think I’ll read again. But what was I thinking to get rid of all Ray Bradbury’s books?
Well, I have remedied the problem, and spent some of my ‘birthday money’ on three books, and added them to my reading list, as you can see. My reading list is also on Goodreads, and I will post my reviews there when the books are read. And I am looking forward to reading them again after such a long time.
The Martian Chronicles is perhaps his greatest work, the story of the colonisation of Mars.
“Bradbury’s Mars is a place of hope, dreams and metaphor-of crystal pillars and fossil seas-where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn -first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars … and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.”
Fahrenheit 451 is best known as a film, but much better to read.
“Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires… The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning … along with the houses in which they were hidden.
Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames… never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.
Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think… and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!”
Something Wicked This Way Comes is another literary classic.
“The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.”
[Quotes from the Ray Bradbury website]