Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury (1920 – 2012), one of the most celebrated writers of the 20th Century, was a prolific author of hundreds of short stories and more than three dozen books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays. His iconic works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.

Featured Books By Author

Yestermorrow

Experience the world of tomorrow as imagined by visionary science fiction author Ray Bradbury. Combining images from his past along with his personal musings about the future, the result is Yestermorrow: Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures.

Entwined within a series of retrospective memoirs, Bradbury shares his thoughts on the state of the world—how the past and present are reflected in society, technology, and popular culture, as well as the need for thinkers and imagineers to be the architects of the future.

In this extraordinary collection of essays, poetry, and philosophical reflection, readers are treated to a glimpse inside the mind of one of the most celebrated and prolific authors of the twentieth century. Bradbury reveals the creative sparks that led to some of his most well-known and enthralling stories, along with his authorial influences on his journey to becoming a prominent figure in modern literature.

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A Little Journey

A LITTLE JOURNEY (August 1951) marks Bradbury’s final contribution to the editorial decade of Horace Gold, the editor of GALAXY magazine. Like THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES and THE FIREMAN, the story demonstrates Bradbury’s characteristic blending so early in his career of the sentimental and the transcendent, the homely and the mystical. Bradbury’s old women in space and their strange outcome are reminiscent of his more famous story KALEIDOSCOPE (published in THE ILLUSTRATED MAN) and its conclusion shows unusual if understated power. Bradbury’s THE FIREMAN (the short-form version of FAHRENHEIT 451 which was doubled in length for its book publication in 1953) appeared in the February 1951 issue of GALAXY and further solidified GALAXY’s reputation, as a magazine of unprecedented originality and ambition. Gold’s commitment to the highly ambitious THE FIREMAN was, then, courageous for its time and gave publicity to the editor’s insistence that GALAXY was an entirely new kind of science fiction magazine, one which was far more oriented toward style and controversial social extrapolation than the other markets ever had been. Although THE FIREMAN and THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES had been published earlier to significant attention, Bradbury in 1951 was by no means a writer of substantial reputation and his work was regarded by most science fiction editors and readers as marginal to the genre.

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The Playground

"The Playground" was part of the first hardcover edition of Ray Bradbury's legendary work Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. It is the first of Ray Bradbury's works to be authorized as an ebook.

In the story, Charles Underhill is a widower who will do anything to protect his young son Jim from the horrors of the playground--a playground which he and the boy pass by daily and the tumult of which, the activity, brings back to Charles the anguish of his own childhood. The playground, like childhood itself, is a nightmare of torment and vulnerability; Charles fears his sensitive son will be destroyed there just as he almost was so many years ago.

Underhill's sister Carol, who has moved in to help raise the young boy after his mother passed away, feels differently. The playground, she believes, is preparation for life, Jim will survive the experience she feels, and he will be the better for it and more equipped to deal with the rigor and obligation of adult existence.

Underhill is caught between his own fear and his sister's invocation of reason and feels paralyzed. A mysterious boy calls out to him from the playground, and seems to know all too well why Underhill is there and what the source of his agony really is. A mysterious Manager also lurks to whom the strange boy directs Underhill. An agreement can be made perhaps--this is what the boy tells Underhill. Perhaps Jim can be spared the playground, but of course, a substitute must be found.

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Ray Bradbury