Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Ray Bradbury

When I was a teenager almost all of my reading was science fiction. I eagerly devoured work by everyone from Brian Aldiss to Roger Zelazny. I knew the history, geography and social customs from Trantor to Terminus via Arakis and Pern.


One of the greatest of all the authors that I read was Ray Bradbury and I was saddened to learn of his recent death. I think I probably first came across his books on a rainy holiday in Wales. The local Woolworths had some cheap paperbacks where I picked up one with an especially garish cover. It was The Illustrated Man. (in the same basket I also found and read Walter Tevis's The Man Who Fell To Earth years before anyone thought of making it into a film).

I took my small collection of novels home to the caravan on the holiday camp and read them while it rained. The Illustrated Man was an instant hit.  I especially remember the framing device of the man whose tattoos come to life to tell the stories,  the creepy "The Veldt" and the atmospheric The Long Rain which seemed to mirror my own holiday that year.

I can't claim that at the time I picked Ray Bradbury out for any special treatment. I read any and every science fiction that I could get. and Ray Bradbury was one of thousands but at this distance he's one of the handful that I still remember well. The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, and all those glorious collections of short stories – I read them all and remember them to this day.

And that is the mark of a great author.

Now I must go and track down all the things he published after I broadened my reading and lost touch with many authors I had read before.