Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury [1920-2012]

Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man [1951] was always one of my favorite books. It featured a selection of wonderful science fiction stories including The Veldt, The Long Rain, The Rocket Man, The City and The Last Night Of The World to name a few. Three of the stories were adapted into a film version of The Illustrated Man [1969] and a new adaptation by Zack Snyder is said to be in the works.

Bradbury also penned the classic The Martian Chronicles [1950], Fahrenheit 451 [1953] and Something Wicked This Way Comes [1962]. His body of work is indeed large, but these were certainly literary highlights and deserve a place on any self-respecting science fiction fan's book shelf. For me, it was The Illustrated Man that left an indelible impression on this particular Sci-Fi Fanatic with stories that were unforgettable.

In television, Bradbury was the man behind writing The Twilight Zone, Season Three, Episode 100, I Sing The Body Electric [1962]. It was based on his own short story and, unfortunately, is not well-regarded in The Twilight Zone pantheon. Nonetheless, he also penned several stories for the long-running Alfred Hitchcock Presents [1955-1965].

The cover of my copy of The Illustrated Man. His timeless work remains and will continue to be revisited and analyzed time in memoriam and should be. His work is science fiction storytelling at its finest. The science fiction world will miss him, but is fortunate to have a wealth of work from which to appreciate, return and forever draw inspiration. I must read them again soon. Ray Bradbury was 91.

5 comments:

John Kenneth Muir said...

Hi SFF:

Thank you for a great tribute to a wonderful artist. Mr. Bradbury will be sorely missed, for he brought so much wonder and imagination into all our lives. I still remember the first time I read Fahrenheit 451 and the impact it had upon me...

Warmest regards,
John

le0pard13 said...

Fine tribute, SFF. We've certainly lost a giant literary figure in Ray Bradbury. Even if he considered his work fantasy, many (including The Science Fiction Hall of Fame) still think his writings so essential to that particular genre. He was so influential across the spectrum (Stephen King being one who credits him with so much gravity in his work). He will be sorely missed May he rest in peace.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Amen gentlemen. What a loss.

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

I always think of Ray Bradbury as a gateway science fiction author, because he was one of the first science fiction writers that I read as a young teenager. If I had not found Bradbury’s lyrical prose style so eminently readable as a 11, 12 and 13 year old (the golden “age” for any reader) I may not have gone on to some of the other classic authors like Asimov, Clarke or Heinlein.

I read mostly science fiction short story collections that I borrowed from the junior’s section of the library and at that time (’70 – ’72) Bradbury was my favorite. I of course read The Martian Chronicles (my personal favorite) and The Illustrated Man (which you mentioned), but I also read I Sing the Body Electric, The Golden Apples of the Sun, The October Country, R Is for Rocket and S Is for Space. I think these are fantastic introductions to science fiction and dark fantasy literature; both genres that Bradbury was a true master of.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

I certainly get your point about Bradbury. Makes perfect sense when it comes to accessing sci-fi literature.

He was indeed a master of his craft. I look forward to revisiting some of these works including a few I missed.

Your handle on science fiction literature is indeed strong I'm sure.