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Remembering Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

6 June 2012 by Sue Samson

Ray Bradbury is one of the best-known writers of science fiction, thanks to his more than 500 published works. His output includes short stories, screenplays, television scripts, stage plays, and classic books such as The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, Fahrenheit 451, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Ironically, Bradbury does not identify himself as a science fiction writer and has proclaimed his aversion to portions of modern technology: he does not drive a car or own a computer. His fiction reflects this mindset, for unlike many of his colleagues, Bradbury deemphasizes gimmicky space hardware and gadgetry in favor of an exploration of the impact of scientific development on human lives. In general, Bradbury warns people against becoming too dependent on science and technology at the expense of moral and aesthetic concerns. Writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, George Edgar Slusser noted that “to Bradbury, science is the forbidden fruit, destroyer of Eden. … In like manner, Bradbury is a fantasist whose fantasies are oddly circumscribed: he writes less about strange things happening to people than about strange imaginings of the human mind. Corresponding, then, to an outer labyrinth of modern technological society is this inner one–fallen beings feeding in isolation on their hopeless dreams.” Source: “Ray Bradbury.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 6 June 2012.

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