Mention the name Ray Bradbury, and science fiction fans positively
swoon of the work of this prophetic American writer.
Ironically, he claims that with the exception of his best-known book, he
does not write science fiction. "I never wrote science fiction ever in my
life, except for Fahrenheit 451," Bradbury told The New York Times
Magazine's Mary Roach in November 2000. "The Martian Chronicles is
fantasy. Most of my short stories are fantasy. Science fiction is the art
of the possible. Fantasy is the art of the impossible."
Fahrenheit 451 - the temperature at which paper burns - tells of a future
in which books would indeed be burned, and their knowledge lost
completely, but for a small group of people who retained, in secret, a
collection of books. To them would fall the job of memorizing the contents
for future prosperity. The novel was published in 1954, and filmed by
director Francois Truffaut in 1966.
Arts Alberta #169
In this episode of Arts Alberta, broadcast on May 28,
1989, Brian Dunsmore
talks with Gyl Raly about a
performance ballet/play adaptation of
Something Wicked This Way Comes, to be performed
Raly describes the story
Bradbury has written, how the
will be presented,
and about Bradbury himself,
who attended the opening
night performance in Edmonton.
At the ripe age of 80 in 2000, he was given the National Book Foundation's
Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a novel honour
for an author many consider to be a writer in a populist genre rather than
a purveyor of literature.
But Bradbury has always taken a rather curious approach to his career,
dabbling not only in the realm of science fiction, but high literature as
well. He is, for instance, the screenwriter of the 1954 film adaptation of
Moby Dick directed by John Huston and starring Gregory Peck. In fact, he
would publish in 1992 a memoir of that project entitled Green Shadows,
This would not be the first adaptation of the horror-fantasy novel; as has
been common with several Bradbury works - among them, Fahrenheit 451, The
Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles - Something Wicked This Way
Comes was filmed in 1983.
With more than 500 published works including ranging from short stories,
novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, creative writing
instructional texts, and verse books, Bradbury remains busy. In 2002
alone, readers would see a new hardcover release (One More for the Road),
as well as the paperback edition of From the Dust Returned. The latter
title, published in hardcover in 2001, is a novel 55 years in the making.
Originally published as Homecoming, a short story in the October 1946
issue of Mademoiselle, this was the introduction to Bradbury's beloved
Elliot family, the subject of yet another five stories.
Bradbury's website is: