Bradbury, Ray 1920–
BRADBURY, Ray 1920–
Full name, Ray Douglas Bradbury; born August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, IL; son of Leonard Spaulding (an electric company linesman) and Esther Marie (maiden name, Moberg) Bradbury; married Marguerite Susan McClure, September 27, 1947 (died November 24, 2003); children: Susan Marguerite, Ramona, Bettina, Alexandra. Education: Attended public schools in Waukegan, IL, and Los Angeles, CA. Politics: Independent. Religion: Unitarian–Universalist. Avocational Interests: Swimming, oil painting, walking, collecting masks, ceramics.
Agent—Don Congdon, 156 Fifth Ave., No. 625, New York, NY 10010.
Writer, producer, television show creator, and editor. Pandemonium Theatre Company, founder, producer, and director, 1963; Pacific Art Foundation, vice president. Worked as a newsboy in Los Angeles, CA, 1940–43.
Writers Guild of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (president, 1951–53), Screenwriters Guild of America (member of board of directors, 1957–61), Pacific Art Foundation.
O'Henry Short Story Prize, 1947 and 1948; Benjamin Franklin Award, best short story of 1953–54 in an American magazine, for "Sun and Shadow" in Reporter; award for contribution to American literature, National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1954; Gold Medal, Commonwealth Club of California, 1954, for Fahrenheit 451; Junior Book Award, Boys' Clubs of America, 1956, for Switch on the Night; CINE Golden Eagle Award, screenwriting, Council on International Nontheatrical Events, 1957; Academy Award nomination, best short film, 1963, for Icarus Montgolfier Wright; Mrs. Ann Radcliffe Awards, Count Dracula Society, 1965 and 1971; Valentine Davies Award, Writers Guild of America, West, 1974; World Fantasy Award, life achievement, 1977; D.Litt., Whittier College, 1979; Balrog Award, best poet, 1979; Aviation and Space Writers Award, 1979, for a television documentary; award from PEN, 1985, for body of work; Gandalf Award (Grand Master), Science Fiction Achievement, 1989; the play version of The Martian Chronicles won five Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards; Gemini Award nomination, best short dramatic program, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, 1990, for To the Chicago Abyss; Annual Cable Excellence (ACE) Award nomination, best dramatic series, National Cable Television Association, 1991, for The Ray Bradbury Theatre; George Pal Memorial Award, Academy of Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Films, 1999; National Book Foundation, 2000; Bram Stoker Award nomination, Horror Writers Association, 2001, for From the Dust Returned; novel category, Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2002; Bram Stoker Award nomination, Horror Writers Association, 2003, for One More for the Road; National Medal of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, 2004.
Television Work; Series:
Creator, editor, and (with Peter Sussman and Larry Wilcox) executive producer, The Ray Bradbury Theatre (also known as The Bradbury Trilogy, Le monde fantastique de Ray Bradbury, Mystery Theatre, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, and Ray Bradbury presente; includes adaptations of Bradbury's stories, such as "The Playground," "The Crowd," "Banshee," "The Screaming Woman," "The Town Where No One Got Off," "The Lake," "The Pedestrian," "The Chicago Abyss," and "The Veldt"), HBO, 1985–87, then USA Network, 1987–92.
Television Work; Specials:
Executive producer (Wilcox Productions), The Town Where No One Got Off, HBO, 1986.
Executive producer (Wilcox Productions), The Screaming Woman, HBO, 1986.
Executive producer (Wilcox Productions), Banshee, HBO, 1986.
Television Appearances; Series:
Host, The Ray Bradbury Theatre (also known as The Bradbury Trilogy, Le monde fantastique de Ray Bradbury, Mystery Theatre, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, and Ray Bradbury presente), HBO, 1985–87, then USA Network, 1987–92.
Television Appearances; Specials:
Voice of Ralph as Man, Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby Is a Friend of Mine, 1982.
Himself, The Whimsical World of Oz (documentary), 1985.
Host, The Town Where No One Got Off, HBO, 1986.
Host, The Screaming Woman, HBO, 1986.
Host, Banshee, HBO, 1986.
Neptune All Night, PBS, 1989.
Presenter, The 64th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1992.
Voice, The Halloween Tree (animated), syndicated, 1993.
Himself, In Search of Oz (documentary), Arts and Entertainment, 1994.
"Outer Space: Can We afford to Go?," The Cronkite Report, The Discovery Channel, 1994.
Corwin (documentary), PBS, 1996.
Interviewee, "Moby Dick," Great Books, The Learning Channel, 1996.
Interviewee, Ray Bradbury: An American Icon (also known as Masters of Fantasy: Ray Bradbury, an American Icon), Sci-Fi Channel, 1996.
Fantasy: Ray Bradbury, an American Icon), Sci–Fi Channel, 1996.
Future Fantastic (documentary), The Learning Channel, 1997.
Masters of Fantasy: Arthur C. Clarke (documentary), Sci–Fi Channel, 1997.
Himself, Universal Horror (documentary), TCM, 1998.
Himself, The Harryhausen Chronicles (documentary), AMC, 1998.
Himself, Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (documentary), TCM, 2000.
Himself, Walt: The Man Behind the Myth (documentary), ABC, 2001.
Tales of Edgar Allen Poe (documentary), The Learning Channel, 2001.
Hugh Hefner: American Playboy Revisited (documentary), Arts and Entertainment, 2001.
Himself, Hollywood Legends (documentary), 2004.
Television Appearances; Episodic:
Guest, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Comedy Central, 1996.
Himself, The Screen Savers, Tech TV, 2003.
Himself, Dennis Miller, CNBC, 2004.
Also appeared in Today, NBC; also interviewed on numerous Larry King shows, as well as other talk shows.
Creative consultant, Mirrors (also known as Marianne), 1978.
Narrator, King of Kings, 1961.
Literary party guest, Rich and Famous, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer/United Artists, 1981.
Himself, The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (documentary), Passport Video, 1985.
Himself, 100 Years of Horror: The Evil Unseeable (documentary), Passport Video, 1996.
Himself, 100 Years of Horror: Sorcerers (documentary), Passport Video, 1996.
Himself, 100 Years of Horror: Giants and Dinosaurs (documentary), Passport Video, 1996.
Himself, Amargoas, 2000.
(Uncredited), The Tramp and the Dictator (documentary), 2002.
Ray Bradbury Dancing among the Muses, 2001.
Himself, The Optimistic Futurist (documentary short film), 2004.
(With S. L. Stebel and Charles Rome Smith) Producer, Next in Line, Pandemonium Theatre Company, New Ivar Theatre, 1992.
Himself, "Brace New Prune," The Stan Freberg Commercials (also known as Tip of the Freberg: The Stan Freberg Collection), 1999.
The Meadow, produced at Huntington Hartford Theatre, Hollywood, CA, 1960.
Way in the Middle of the Air, produced at Desilu Gower Studios, Hollywood, 1962.
The Anthem Sprinters, and Other Antics (four one–acts), produced at Beverly Hills Playhouse, Beverly Hills, CA, 1967, published by Dial, 1963.
The World of Ray Bradbury (three one–acts: The Pedestrian, The Veldt, and To the Chicago Abyss), produced at Coronet Theatre, Los Angeles, 1964, then Orpheum Theatre, New York City, 1965.
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, produced at Coronet Theater, 1965, later Bouwerie Lane Theatre, New York City, 1981, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1986.
The Day It Rained Forever (one–act), published by Samuel French, 1966.
The Pedestrian (one–act), published by Samuel French, 1966.
Dandelion Wine (based on his novel of the same title; music composed by Billy Goldenberg), produced at Forum Theatre, New York City, 1967, later Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1976, then Arena Stage, Washington, DC, 1982–83, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1988.
Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby Is a Friend of Mine, produced 1968.
Christus Apollo (music by Jerry Goldsmith), produced at Royce Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, 1969.
Leviathan 99, produced at Stage 9 Theatre, 1972.
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Other Plays (contains The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, The Veldt, and To the Chicago Abyss), published by Bantam, 1972, published in England as The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Other Plays for Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond Tomorrow, Hart–Davis, 1973.
Madrigals for the Space Age (for chorus and narrator; music composed by Lalo Schifrin) produced at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, 1973, published by Music Publishers, 1972.
Pillar of Fire, produced at Little Theatre, California State College, Fullerton, CA, 1973.
Pillar of Fire and Other Plays for Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond Tomorrow (contains Pillar of Fire, Kaleidoscope, and The Foghorn [based on his story of same title]), published by Bantam, 1975.
That Ghost, That Bride of Time: Excerpts from a Play–in–Progress, published by Roy A. Squires Press, 1976.
The Martian Chronicles (based on his novel of same title), produced at Colony Theatre, Los Angeles, 1977, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1986.
Fahrenheit 451 (musical; based on his story of same title), produced at Colony Theatre, 1979, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1986.
The Veldt (based on his story of the same title), first produced in London, 1980, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1989.
A Device Out of Time, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1986.
The Flying Machine, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1986.
Kaleidoscope, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1986.
Falling Upward, produced at Melrose Theatre, Los Angeles, 1988, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1989.
To the Chicago Abyss, published by Dramatic Publishing, 1989.
Ray Bradbury on Stage: A Chrestomathy of His Plays, 1991.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (based on his story "The Foghorn"), Warner Bros., 1953.
It Came from Outer Space (based on a story by Bradbury), 1953.
(With John Huston) Moby Dick (based on Herman Melville's novel of the same title; also known as Herman Melville's Moby Dick), Warner Bros., 1956.
(With George C. Johnson) Icarus Montgolfier Wright, Format Films, 1962.
(Author of narration and creative consultant) An American Journey, U.S. Government for United States Pavilion at New York World's Fair, 1964.
(As Douglas Spaulding; with Ed Weinberger) Picasso Summer, Warner Bros./Seven Arts, 1972.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (based on his novel of same title), Buena Vista, 1983.
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, 1992.
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (based on his stage play of the same title and the short story "The Magic White Suit"), Buena Vista, 1998.
Con palos y piedras (short film), 2000.
"Shopping for Death," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1955.
"The Marked Bullet," Jane Wyman's Fireside Theatre (also known as Jane Wyman Presents and Jane Wyman Theatre), 1956.
"Design for Loving," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1958.
"The Gift," Steve Canyon, 1958.
"Tunnel to Yesterday," The Troubleshooters, 1959.
"Special Delivery," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1959.
"The Faith of Aaron Menefee," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1962.
"The Jail," Alcoa Premiere, 1962.
"I Sing the Body Electric," The Twilight Zone, 1962.
"The Life Work of Juan Diaz," The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, 1964.
The Fox and the Forest (also known as Out of the Unknown: Fox and the Forest), 1965.
"The Burning Man," Twilight Zone, CBS, 1985.
The Ray Bradbury Theatre, HBO, 1985–87, then USA Network, 1987–92.
"The Elevator," Twilight Zone, CBS, 1986.
Also wrote "The Groon," The Curiosity Shop; "Zero Hour," Star Tonight; "The Jar," Alfred Hitchcock Presents; episodes of Suspense, CBS Television Workshop, CBS, Windows, and Historias para no dormir.
Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby Is a Friend of Mine, 1982.
"The Invisible Boy," Robbers, Rooftops and Witches, 1982.
"Walking on Air," WonderWorks, PBS, 1987.
The Halloween Tree (animated; based on his juvenile novel of the same title), syndicated, 1993.
Leviathan 99, BBC, 1966.
"Bradbury 13," NPR Playhouse, National Public Radio, 1984.
Forever and the Earth (limited edition), published by Croissant and Co., 1984.
Also contributed to CBS Radio Playhouse, c. 1940s.
The Martian Chronicles, Doubleday, 1950, revised edition published as The Silver Locusts, Hart–Davis, 1951.
Dandelion Wine, Doubleday, 1957.
Sun and Shadow, Quenian Press, 1957.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Simon & Schuster, 1962.
Death Is a Lonely Business, Knopf, 1985.
A Graveyard for Lunatics, Knopf, 1990.
The Dead Ride Fast, Knopf, 1990.
Green Shadows, White Whale, 1992.
Let's All Kill Constance, Morrow, 2003.
Short Story Collections:
Dark Carnival, Arkham, 1947, revised edition, Hamish Hamilton, 1948.
The Illustrated Man, Doubleday, 1951, revised edition, Hart–Davis, 1952.
The Golden Apples of the Sun, Doubleday, 1953, revised edition, Hart–Davis, 1953.
The October Country, Ballantine, 1955.
A Medicine for Melancholy, Doubleday, 1959, revised edition published in England as The Day It Rained Forever, Hart–Davis, 1959.
The Small Assassin, Ace Books, 1962.
The Machineries of Joy, Simon & Schuster, 1964.
The Vintage Bradbury, Vintage, 1965.
Twice Twenty–Two (contains The Golden Apples of the Sun and A Medicine for Melancholy), Doubleday, 1966.
(With Robert Bloch) Bloch and Bradbury: Ten Masterpieces of Science Fiction, Tower, 1969, published in England as Fever Dreams and Other Fantasies, Sphere, 1970, published as Whispers from Beyond, Peacock Press, 1972.
I Sing the Body Electric!, Knopf, 1969.
Ray Bradbury, Harrap, 1975.
Long after Midnight, Knopf, 1976.
(And author of introduction) To Sing Strange Songs, Wheaton, 1979.
(And author of introduction) The Last Circus, Lord John, 1980.
The Stories of Ray Bradbury, Knopf, 1980.
(And author of introduction) A Memory for Murder, Dell, 1984.
The Toynbee Convector, Knopf, 1988.
Quicker Than the Eye, Avon, 1997.
Driving Blind, Avon, 1997.
Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines: A Fable, 1998.
Ray Bradbury Collected Short Stories, Peterson Publishing, 2001.
One More for the Road: A New Short Story Collection, Morrow, 2002.
Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales, Morrow, 2003.
Old Ahab's Friend, and Friend to Noah, Speaks His Piece: A Celebration, Roy A. Squires Press, 1971.
When Elephants Last in the Dooryard Bloomed: Celebrations for Almost Any Day in the Year, Knopf, 1973.
That Son of Richard III: A Birth Announcement, Roy A. Squires Press, 1974.
Where Robot Mice and Robot Men Run Round in Robot Towns: New Poems, Both Light and Dark, Knopf, 1977.
Twin Hieroglyphs That Swim the River Dust, Lord John, 1978.
The Bike Repairman, Lord John, 1978.
The Author Considers His Resources, Lord John, 1979.
The Attic Where the Meadow Greens, Lord John, 1979.
The Haunted Computer and the Android Pope, Knopf, 1981.
The Complete Poems of Ray Bradbury (contains Where Robot Mice and Robot Men Run Round in Robot Towns, The Haunted Computer and the Android Pope, and When Elephants Last in the Dooryard Bloomed), Ballantine, 1982.
The Last Good Kiss: A Poem, illustrated by Hans Burkhardt, Santa Susana Press, 1984.
Forever and the Earth, 1984.
Death Has Lost Its Charm for Me, Lord John, 1987.
With Cat for Comforter, Gibbs Smith, 1997.
Dogs Think That Every Day Is Christmas, Gibbs Smith, 1997.
I Love by the Invisible: New and Selected Poems, Salmon, 2002.
Juvenile Story Collections:
R Is for Rocket, Doubleday, 1962.
S Is for Space, Doubleday, 1966.
The April Witch, Creative Education, Inc., 1987.
The Other Foot, Creative Education, Inc., 1987.
The Foghorn, Creative Education, Inc., 1987.
The Veldt, Creative Education, Inc., 1987.
Fever Dream, St. Martin's, 1987.
The Smile, Creative Education, Inc., 1991.
Switch on the Night, Pantheon, 1955, reprinted with illustrations by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon, Knopf, 1993.
The Halloween Tree (novel), Knopf, 1972.
The Dragon, illustrated by Ken Snyder, B. Munster, 1988.
A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities, Knopf, 1990.
Ahmed and the Oblivions Machines, Avon, 1998.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Avon, 1999.
You Are Here: The Jerde Partnership International, Phaidon Press Ltd., 1999.
Death Is a Lonely Business, Avon, 1999.
The Illustrated Many, Chivers Press, 1999.
The Country, Avon, 1999.
From the Dust Returns: A Family Remembrance, William Morrow, 2001.
The Cat's Pajamas, Morrow, 2004.
(Editor and contributor) Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow, Bantam, 1952.
Fahrenheit 451 (collection; contains "Fahrenheit 451," "The Playground," and "And the Rock Cried Out"), Ballantine, 1953, reprinted with foreword by Bradbury, Simon & Schuster, 1993.
Fahrenheit 451 (previously published as part of collection), Hart–Davis, 1954.
(Editor) The Circus of Dr. Lao and Other Improbable Stories, Bantam, 1956.
(With Lewy Olfson) Teachers Guide: Science Fiction (essay), Bantam, 1968.
(With Bruce Murray, Arthur C. Clarke, Walter Sullivan, and Carl Sagan) Mars and the Mind of Man (verse and essays), Harper, 1973.
Zen and the Art of Writing (essays), Capra Press, 1973.
The Best of Bradbury, Bantam, 1976.
The Mummies of Guanajuato (short story), Abrams, 1978.
The Aqueduct (short story), Roy A. Squires Press, 1979.
Beyond 1984: Remembrance of Things Future (articles and poems), Targ, 1979.
About Norman Corwin (essay), California State University, Northridge, 1980.
The Ghosts of Forever (five poems, a story, and an essay), Rizzoli, c. 1981.
Dinosaur Tales (verse and short story collection), Bantam, 1983.
The Love Affair (a short story and two poems), Lord John, 1983.
(Author of text) Los Angeles, Skyline Press, 1984.
(Author of text) Orange County, Skyline Press, 1985.
(Author of text) The Art of "Playboy," Alfred Van der Mack, 1985.
Folon's Folons, 1990.
Yestermorrow: Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures, 1991.
(Editor) A Day in the Life of Hollywood, 1992.
Journey to Far Metaphor: Further Essays on Creativity, Writing, Literature, and the Arts, 1994.
The First Book of Dichotomy, the Second Book of Symbiosis, 1995.
A Chapbook for Burnt–Out Priests, Rabbis, and Ministers, 2001.
Conversations with Ray Bradbury, University Press of Mississippi, 2004.
Author of forewords and prologues for other publications and authors. Bradbury's work is represented in seven hundred anthologies (many of which are school texts), including Best American Short Stories, 1946, 1948, 1952, and 1958, and The Ghoul Keepers, Pyramid Books, 1961.
Contributor of short stories and articles, sometimes under pseudonyms, to Life, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Omni, Reporter, Playboy, Saturday Review, Weird Tales, and other periodicals.
The motion picture El marciano, released in 1965, was based on a Bradbury story. Fahrenheit 451 was adapted into a screenplay, released by Universal, 1966, a new film version was released in 2005, and it was adapted as an opera, by Georgia Holof and David Mettere, first produced at the Indiana Civic Theater, Fort Wayne, IN, 1988. The Illustrated Man was adapted into a screenplay, released by Warner Bros., 1969. The film Melodrama Infernal, released in 1969, was based on stories by Bradbury. The story "The Screaming Woman" was filmed for television in 1972; and the story "Murderer" was filmed for television by WGBH–TV, Boston, MA, 1976. The Martian Chronicles was filmed as a television miniseries, c. 1980; it also served as the basis for the screenplay Trinadtsaty Apostol (also known as The 13th Apostle), released in 1988. The story "Frost and Fire" was adapted as the screenplay Quest, released in 1983. The film All Summer in a Day, released in 1982, is based on a story by Bradbury. "The Electric Grandmother" has been adapted into a television play, by Jeffrey Kindley, Peacock Theatre, NBC, 1983. The 1986 television special, Banshee, was based on a Bradbury story, as was the film Veld, 1987. The story "Next in Line" was adapted as a play by S. L. Stebel and Charles Rome Smith, and produced by the Pandemonium Theatre Company, at the New Ivar Theatre, 1992. The television movie It Came from Outer Space II, released on the Sci–Fi Channel in 1996, was based on a story by Bradbury. The motion picture El Umrbal was based a story by Bradbury and released in 2003. The motion picture A Sound of Thunder was based on a short story by Bradbury and released by Warner Bros., 2005. The 1996 television miniseries Vino iz Oduvanchikov (also known as Dandelion Wine) was also based on Bradbury's books. Other Bradbury works have been adapted into other media, including sound recordings. The Autumn People, Ballantine, 1965, and Tomorrow Midnight, Ballantine, 1966, are comic adaptations of some of Bradbury's stories. The television special Walking on Air (also known as Wonderworks), which aired on PBS, was adapted from one of his short stories.
Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Volume 30, Gale, 1990.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 1, 1973, Volume 3, 1975, Volume 10, 1979, Volume 15, 1980, Volume 42, 1987.
Contemporary Novelists, 7th edition, St. James Press, 2001.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale, Volume 2: American Novelists since World War II, 1978, Volume 8, Twentieth-Century American Science Fiction Writers, 1981.
Greenberg, Martin H., and Joseph D. Olander, editors, Ray Bradbury, Taplinger, 1980.
Johnson, Wayne L., Ray Bradbury, Ungar, 1980.
Nolan, William F., The Ray Bradbury Companion, Gale, 1974.
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press, 2004.
Weist, Bradbury: An Illustrated Life: A Journey to Far Metaphor, HarperCollins, 2002.
Publishers Weekly, October 22, 2001, p. 40.
Starlog, April, 1990, p. 29.
"Bradbury, Ray 1920–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bradbury-ray-1920
"Bradbury, Ray 1920–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bradbury-ray-1920
Ray Bradbury (born 1920) was among the first authors to combine the concepts of science fiction with a sophisticated prose style. Often described as economical yet poetic, Bradbury's fiction conveys a vivid sense of place in which everyday events are transformed into unusual, sometimes sinister situations.
Bradbury began his career during the 1940s as a writer for such pulp magazines as Black Mask, Amazing Stories, and Weird Tales. The latter magazine served to showcase the works of such fantasy writers as H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and August Derleth. Derleth, who founded Arkham House, a publishing company specializing in fantasy literature, accepted one of Bradbury's stories for Who Knocks?, an anthology published by his firm. Derleth subsequently suggested that Bradbury compile a volume of his own stories; the resulting book, Dark Carnival (1947), collects Bradbury's early fantasy tales. Although Bradbury rarely published pure fantasy later in his career, such themes of his future work as the need to retain humanistic values and the importance of the imagination are displayed in the stories of this collection. Many of these pieces were republished with new material in The October Country (1955).
The publication of The Martian Chronicles (1950) established Bradbury's reputation as an author of sophisticated science fiction. This collection of stories is connected by the framing device of the settling of Mars by human beings and is dominated by tales of space travel and environmental adaptation. Bradbury's themes, however, reflect many of the important issues of the post-World War II era— racism, censorship, technology, and nuclear war—and the stories delineate the implications of these themes through authorial commentary. Clifton Fadiman described The Martian Chronicles as being "as grave and troubling as one of Hawthorne's allegories." Another significant collection of short stories, The Illustrated Man (1951), also uses a framing device, basing the stories on the tattoos of the title character.
Bradbury's later short story collections are generally considered to be less significant than The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. Bradbury shifted his focus in these volumes from outer space to more familiar earthbound settings. Dandelion Wine (1957), for example, has as its main subject the midwestern youth of Bradbury's semiautobiographical protagonist, Douglas Spaulding. Although Bradbury used many of the same techniques in these stories as in his science fiction and fantasy publications, Dandelion Wine was not as well received as his earlier work. Other later collections, including A Medicine for Melancholy (1959), The Machineries of Joy (1964), I Sing the Body Electric! (1969), and Long after Midnight (1976), contain stories set in Bradbury's familiar outer space or midwestern settings and explore his typical themes. Many of Bradbury's stories have been anthologized or filmed for such television programs as The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Ray Bradbury Theater.
In addition to his short fiction, Bradbury has several adult novels. The first of these, Fahrenheit 451 (1953), originally published as a short story and later expanded into novel form, concerns a future society in which books are burned because they are perceived as threats to societal conformity. In Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) a father attempts to save his son and a friend from the sinister forces of a mysterious traveling carnival. Both of these novels have been adapted for film. Death Is a Lonely Business (1985) is a detective story featuring Douglas Spaulding, the protagonist of Dandelion Wine, as a struggling writer for pulp magazines Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles are often included in the category of novel. Bradbury has also written poetry and drama; critics have faulted his efforts in these genres as lacking the impact of his fiction.
While Bradbury's popularity is acknowledged even by his detractors, many critics find the reasons for his success difficult to pinpoint. Some believe that the tension Bradbury creates between fantasy and reality is central to his ability to convey his visions and interests to his readers. Peter Stoler asserted that Bradbury's reputation rests on his "chillingly understated stories about a familiar world where it is always a few minutes before midnight on Halloween, and where the unspeakable and unthinkable become commonplace." Mary Ross proposed that "Perhaps the special quality of [Bradbury's] fantasy lies in the fact that people to whom amazing things happen are often so simply, often touchingly, like ourselves." In a genre in which futurism and the fantastic are usually synonymous, Bradbury stands out for his celebration of the future in realistic terms and his exploration of conventional values and ideas. As one of the first science fiction writers to convey his themes through a refined prose style replete with subtlety and humanistic analogies, Bradbury has helped make science fiction a more respected literary genre and is widely admired by the literary establishment.
Authors in the News, Gale, Volume 1, 1976, Volume 2, 1976.
Amis, Kingsley, New Maps of Hell, Ballantine, 1960, pp. 90-7.
Berton, Pierre, Voices from the Sixties, Doubleday, 1967, pp. 1-10.
Breit, Harvey, The Writer Observed, World Publishing, 1956.
Clareson, Thomas D., editor, Voices for the Future: Essays on Major Science Fiction Writers, Volume 1, Bowling Green State University Press, 1976.
Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography: Broadening Views, 1968-1988, Gale, 1989.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 1, 1973, Volume 3, 1975, Volume 10, 1979, Volume 15, 1980, Volume 42, 1987. □
"Ray Bradbury." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ray-bradbury
"Ray Bradbury." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ray-bradbury
Born: August 22, 1920
American writer, editor, poet, screenwriter, and dramatist
Ray Bradbury was among the first authors to combine the ideas of science fiction with a more developed writing style. In much of Bradbury's fiction, everyday events are transformed into unusual and sometimes dangerous situations.
Ray Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, to Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie (Moberg) Bradbury. His father was a lineman for the electric company. He was greatly influenced by his Aunt Neva, a costume designer and dressmaker, who took him to plays and encouraged him to use his imagination. At the age of twelve, after seeing the performance of a magician named Mr. Electrico at a carnival, Bradbury began to spend hours every day writing stories. Bradbury's family moved to Arizona briefly before settling in Los Angeles, California, in 1934. Bradbury continued to write and also spent a great deal of time reading in libraries and going to the movies.
After graduating from high school in 1938, Bradbury was turned down for military service because of bad eyesight. He earned a living selling newspapers while working on his writing. He sold his first story in 1943, and others were published in such magazines as Black Mask, Amazing Stories, and Weird Tales. Dark Carnival (1947) is a collection of Bradbury's early stories of fantasy (fiction with unusual plots and characters). Themes such as the need to retain human values and the importance of the imagination are found in these stories. Many of these pieces were republished with new material in The October Country (1955).
The publication of The Martian Chronicles (1950), an account of man's colonization of Mars, established Bradbury's reputation as an author of quality science fiction. The Martian Chronicles contain tales of space travel and adapting to an environment, and combines many of Bradbury's major themes, including the conflict between individual and social expectations (that is, freedom versus confinement and going along with the crowd) and the idea of space as a frontier wilderness. The Martian Chronicles also reflects many issues of the post-World War II era, such as racism (unequal treatment based on race), censorship (preventing the viewing of materials such as books or films that are considered harmful), and the threat of nuclear war. In another collection of short stories, The Illustrated Man (1951), the stories are based on the tattoos of the title character.
Bradbury's later short story collections were not as well received as his earlier work. Although Bradbury used many of the same methods in writing these stories as in his science fiction works, he shifted his focus from outer space to more familiar earthbound settings. Dandelion Wine (1957), for example, has as its main subject the midwestern youth of Bradbury's main character, Douglas Spaulding. Other collections include A Medicine for Melancholy (1959), The Machineries of Joy (1964), I Sing the Body Electric! (1969), and Long after Midnight (1976). Many of Bradbury's stories have been filmed for science fiction television programs such as The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Bradbury also wrote several adult novels. The first of these, Fahrenheit 451 (1953), concerns a future society in which books are burned because they are perceived as threats to social order. In Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) a father attempts to save his son and a friend from the evil forces of a mysterious traveling carnival. Both of these novels were made into films. Death Is a Lonely Business (1985) is a detective story featuring Douglas Spaulding, the main character of Dandelion Wine, as a struggling magazine writer.
Over the past five decades Bradbury has managed to produce a tremendous amount of different kinds of work, including short stories, plays, novels, film scripts, poems, children's books, and nonfiction. He gives the credit to the steady writing routine that he has followed every day for fifty years. He also claims to remember everything about every book he has read and every film he has seen.
Bradbury also uses an unusual method of writing. In Extrapolation William F. Touponce quotes Bradbury saying: "In my early twenties I floundered into a word-association process in which I simply got out of bed each morning, walked to my desk, and put down any word or series of words that happened along in my head." Bradbury suffered a stroke in November 1999 but recovered. In November 2000 he received a National Book Award for lifetime achievement. Bradbury published a new novel, From the Dust Returned, in 2001.
For More Information
Bloom, Harold, ed. Ray Bradbury. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2001.
Weist, Jerry. Bradbury, an Illustrated Life: A Journey to Far Metaphor. New York: Morrow, 2002.
"Bradbury, Ray." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bradbury-ray
"Bradbury, Ray." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bradbury-ray
Ray Bradbury (brăd´bĕr´ē, –bərē), 1920–2012, American writer, b. Waukegan, Ill. A popular and prolific writer of science fiction who did much to bring the genre into the mainstream of literature, Bradbury skillfully combined social and technological criticism with lyrical fantasy. His first book was the short-story collection Dark Carnival (1947). Bradbury's best-known work is probably The Martian Chronicles (1950), a collection of tales of a series of expeditions to Mars and of the ruin of Martian civilization by greedy and corrupt earthlings; it was made into a film (1966) and a TV miniseries (1980). His other volumes of stories include The Illustrated Man (1951), The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953), The Last Circus and the Executioner (1980), The Toynbee Convector (1988), Quicker than the Eye (1996), and Driving Blind (1997). Among his novels are his most successful longer work, the dystopian Fahrenheit 451 (1953, film dir. by François Truffaut, 1966), the autobiographical Dandelion Wine (1957), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962, film 1983), The Halloween Tree (1972), and A Graveyard for Lunatics (1990). Bradbury also wrote scripts for plays, films, and television; a detective novel; children's stories; and poetry. During his lifetime, more than eight million copies of his books were sold, and his works were translated into 36 languages.
See his Zen in the Art of Writing (1990); biographies by W. L. Johnson (1980), D. Mogen (1986), S. Weller (2005), and J. R. Eller (2011); studies by G. E. Slusser (1977), W. F. Touponce (1989 and 1998), J. Anderson (1990), R. A. Reid (2000), H. Bloom, ed. (2001, repr. 2010).
"Bradbury, Ray." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bradbury-ray
"Bradbury, Ray." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bradbury-ray
Bradbury, Ray(mond Douglas)
BRADBURY, Ray(mond Douglas)
Nationality: American. Born: Waukegan, Illinois, 22 August 1920. Education: Los Angeles High School, graduated 1938. Family: Married Marguerite Susan McClure in 1947; four daughters. Career: Since 1943 full-time writer. President, Science-Fantasy Writers of America, 1951-53. Member of the Board of Directors, Screen Writers Guild of America, 1957-61. Lives in Los Angeles. Awards: O. Henry prize, 1947, 1948; Benjamin Franklin award, 1954; American Academy award, 1954; Boys' Clubs of America Junior Book award, 1956; Golden Eagle award, for screenplay, 1957; Ann Radcliffe award, 1965, 1971; Writers Guild award, 1974; Aviation and Space Writers award, for television documentary, 1979; Gandalf award, 1980. D. Litt.: Whittier College, California, 1979. Agent: Harold Matson Company, 276 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10001. Address: c/o Bantam, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10103, U.S.A.
Fahrenheit 451. New York, Ballantine, 1953; London, Hart Davis, 1954; with a new foreword by the author, Thorndike, Maine, G. K. Hall, 1997.
Something Wicked This Way Comes. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1962; London, Hart Davis, 1963.
Death Is a Lonely Business. New York, Knopf, 1985; London, Grafton, 1986.
A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities. New York, Knopf, and London, Grafton, 1990.
The Smile. Mankato, Minnesota, Creative Education, 1991.
Green Shadows, White Whale. New York, Knopf, and London, HarperCollins, 1992.
Quicker Than the Eye. New York, Avon Books, 1996.
Driving Blind. New York, Avon Books, 1997.
With Cat for Comforter, illustrated by Louise Reinoehl Max. SaltLake City, Utah, Gibbs Smith, 1997.
Dogs Think That Every Day Is Christmas, illustrated by LouiseReinoehl Max. Salt Lake City, Utah, Gibbs Smith, 1997.
Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines: A Fable, illustrated by ChrisLane. New York, Avon Books, 1998.
Dark Carnival. Sauk City, Wisconsin, Arkham House, 1947; abridged edition, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1948; abridged edition, as The Small Assassin, London, New English Library, 1962.
The Martian Chronicles. New York, Doubleday, 1950; as The Silver Locusts, London, Hart Davis, 1951.
The Illustrated Man. New York, Doubleday, 1951; London, HartDavis, 1952; New York, Avon Books, 1997.
The Golden Apples of the Sun. New York, Doubleday, and London, Hart Davis, 1953.
The October Country. New York, Ballantine, 1955; London, HartDavis, 1956; with a new introduction by the author. New York, Ballantine Books, 1996.
Dandelion Wine. New York, Doubleday, and London, Hart Davis, 1957; New York, Avon Books, 1999.
A Medicine for Melancholy. New York, Doubleday, 1959.
The Day It Rained Forever. London, Hart Davis, 1959.
The Machineries of Joy. New York, Simon and Schuster, and London, Hart Davis, 1964.
The Vintage Bradbury. New York, Random House, 1965.
The Autumn People. New York, Ballantine, 1965.
Tomorrow Midnight. New York, Ballantine, 1966.
Twice Twenty Two (selection). New York, Doubleday, 1966.
I Sing the Body Electric! New York, Knopf, 1969; London, HartDavis, 1970; published as I Sing the Body Electric and Other Stories, New York, Avon Books, 1998.
Bloch and Bradbury, with Robert Bloch. New York, Tower, 1969; asFever Dreams and Other Fantasies, London, Sphere, 1970.
(Selected Stories ), edited by Anthony Adams. London, Harrap, 1975.
Long after Midnight. New York, Knopf, 1976; London, Hart DavisMacGibbon, 1977.
The Best of Bradbury. New York, Bantam, 1976.
To Sing Strange Songs. Exeter, Devon, Wheaton, 1979.
The Stories of Ray Bradbury. New York, Knopf, and London, Granada, 1980.
The Last Circus, and The Electrocution. Northridge, California, LordJohn Press, 1980.
Dinosaur Tales. New York, Bantam, 1983.
A Memory of Murder. New York, Dell, 1984.
The Toynbee Convector. New York, Knopf, 1988; London, Grafton, 1989.
The Meadow, in Best One-Act Plays of 1947-48, edited by MargaretMayorga. New York, Dodd Mead, 1948.
The Anthem Sprinters and Other Antics (produced Los Angeles, 1968). New York, Dial Press, 1963.
The World of Ray Bradbury (produced Los Angeles, 1964; NewYork, 1965).
The Wonderful Ice-Cream Suit (produced Los Angeles, 1965; NewYork, 1987; musical version, music by Jose Feliciano, produced Pasadena, California, 1990). Included in The Wonderful Ice-Cream Suit and Other Plays, 1972.
The Day It Rained Forever, music by Bill Whitefield (producedEdinburgh, 1988). New York, French, 1966.
The Pedestrian. New York, French, 1966.
Christus Apollo, music by Jerry Goldsmith (produced Los Angeles, 1969).
The Wonderful Ice-Cream Suit and Other Plays (includes The Veldt and To the Chicago Abyss ). New York, Bantam, 1972; London, Hart Davis, 1973.
The Veldt (produced London, 1980). Included in The Wonderful Ice-Cream Suit and Other Plays, 1972.
Leviathan 99 (produced Los Angeles, 1972).
Pillar of Fire and Other Plays for Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond Tomorrow (includes Kaleidoscope and The Foghorn ). New York, Bantam, 1975.
The Foghorn (produced New York, 1977). Included in Pillar of Fire and Other Plays, 1975.
That Ghost, That Bride of Time: Excerpts from a Play-in-Progress. Glendale, California, Squires, 1976.
The Martian Chronicles, adaptation of his own stories (produced LosAngeles, 1977).
Fahrenheit 451, adaptation of his own novel (produced Los Angeles, 1979).
Dandelion Wine, adaptation of his own story (produced Los Angeles, 1980).
Forever and the Earth (radio play). Athens, Ohio, Croissant, 1984.
On Stage: A Chrestomathy of His Plays. New York, Primus, 1991.
It Came from Outer Space, with David Schwartz, 1952;Moby-Dick, with John Huston, 1956; Icarus Montgolfier Wright, with George C. Johnston, 1961; Picasso Summer (as Douglas Spaulding), with Edwin Booth, 1972.
Shopping for Death, 1956, Design for Loving, 1958, Special Delivery, 1959, The Faith of Aaron Menefee, 1962, and The Life Work of Juan Diaz, 1963 (all Alfred Hitchcock Presents series); The Marked Bullet (Jane Wyman's Fireside Theater series), 1956; The Gift (Steve Canyon series), 1958; The Tunnel to Yesterday (Trouble Shooters series), 1960; I Sing the Body Electric! (Twilight Zone series), 1962; The Jail (Alcoa Premier series), 1962; The Groom (Curiosity Shop series), 1971; The Coffin, from his own short story, 1988 (U.K.).
Old Ahab's Friend, and Friend to Noah, Speaks His Piece: A Celebration. Glendale, California, Squires, 1971.
When Elephants Last in the Dooryard Bloomed: Celebrations for Almost Any Day in the Year. New York, Knopf, 1973; London, Hart Davis MacGibbon, 1975.
That Son of Richard III: A Birth Announcement. Privately printed, 1974.
Where Robot Mice and Robot Men Run round in Robot Towns: New Poems, Both Light and Dark. New York, Knopf, 1977; London, Hart Davis MacGibbon, 1979.
Twin Hieroglyphs That Swim the River Dust. Northridge, California, Lord John Press, 1978.
The Bike Repairman. Northridge, California, Lord John Press, 1978.
The Author Considers His Resources. Northridge, California, LordJohn Press, 1979.
The Aqueduct. Glendale, California, Squires, 1979.
The Attic Where the Meadow Greens. Northridge, California, LordJohn Press, 1980.
Imagine. Northridge, California, Lord John Press, 1981.
The Haunted Computer and the Android Pope. New York, Knopf, and London, Granada, 1981.
The Complete Poems of Ray Bradbury. New York, Ballantine, 1982.
Two Poems. Northridge, California, Lord John Press, 1982.
The Love Affair. Northridge, California, Lord John Press, 1983.
Switch on the Night (for children). New York, Pantheon, and London, Hart Davis, 1955.
R Is for Rocket (for children). New York, Doubleday, 1962; London, Hart Davis, 1968.
S Is for Space (for children). New York, Doubleday, 1966; London, Hart Davis, 1968.
Teacher's Guide: Science Fiction, with Lewy Olfson. New York, Bantam, 1968.
The Halloween Tree (for children). New York, Knopf, 1972; London, Hart Davis MacGibbon, 1973.
Mars and the Mind of Man. New York, Harper, 1973.
Zen and the Art of Writing, and The Joy of Writing. Santa Barbara, California, Capra Press, 1973.
The Mummies of Guanajuato, photographs by Archie Lieberman. New York, Abrams, 1978.
Beyond 1984: Remembrance of Things Future. New York, Targ, 1979.
About Norman Corwin. Northridge, California, Santa Susana Press, 1979.
The Ghosts of Forever, illustrated by Aldo Sessa. New York, Rizzoli, 1981.
Los Angeles, photographs by West Light. Port Washington, NewYork, Skyline Press, 1984.
Orange County, photographs by Bill Ross and others. Port Washington, New York, Skyline Press, 1985.
The Art of Playboy (text by Bradbury). New York, van der MarckEditions, 1985.
Zen in the Art of Writing (essays). Santa Barbara, California, CapraPress, 1990.
Yestermorrow: Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures (essays).Santa Barbara, California, Capra Press, 1991.
Editor, Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow. New York, Bantam, 1952.
Editor, The Circus of Dr. Lao and Other Improbable Stories. NewYork, Bantam, 1956.*
Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
Critical Studies: Interview in
Show (New York), December 1964; introduction by Gilbert Highet to The Vintage Bradbury, 1965; "The Revival of Fantasy" by Russell Kirk, in Triumph (Washington, D.C.), May 1968; "Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine: Themes, Sources, and Style" by Marvin E. Mengeling, in English Journal (Champaign, Illinois), October 1971; The Ray Bradbury Companion (includes bibliography) by William F. Nolan, Detroit, Gale, 1975; The Drama of Ray Bradbury by Benjamin P. Indick, Baltimore, T-K Graphics, 1977; The Bradbury Chronicles by George Edgar Slusser, San Bernardino, California, Borgo Press, 1977; Ray Bradbury (includes bibliography) edited by Joseph D. Olander and Martin H. Greenberg, New York, Taplinger, and Edinburgh, Harris, 1980; Ray Bradbury by Wayne L. Johnson, New York, Ungar, 1980; Ray Bradbury and the Poetics of Reverie: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and the Reader by William F. Toupence, Ann Arbor, Michigan, UMI Research Press, 1984; Ray Bradbury by David Mogen, Boston, Twayne, 1986; Ray Bradbury: An American Icon (video cassette), Great Northern Productions, 1996; Ray Bradbury and the Poetics of Reverie by William F. Touponce, San Bernardino, California, Borgo Press, 1998; American Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers by Claire L. Datnow, Springfield, New Jersey, Enslow Publishers, 1999; Ray Bradbury: A Critical Companion by Robin Anne Reid, Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 2000; Ray Bradbury, edited by Harold Bloom, Philadelphia, Chelsea House, 2000.
Ray Bradbury comments:
I am not so much a science-fiction writer as I am a magician, an illusionist. From my beginnings as a boy conjurer I grew up frightening myself so as to frighten others so as to cure the midnight in our souls. I have grown into a writer of the History of Ideas, I guess you might say. Any idea, no matter how large or small, that is busy growing itself alive, starting from nowhere and at last dominating a town, a culture, or a world, is of interest. Man the problem solver is the writer of my tales. Science fiction becoming science fact. The machineries of our world putting away and keeping our facts for us so they can be used and learned from. Machines as humanist teachers. Ideas of men built into those machines in order to help us survive and survive well. That's my broad and fascinating field, in which I will wander for a lifetime, writing past science fictions one day, future ones another. And all of it a wonder and a lark and a great love. I can't imagine writing any other way.* * *
Although he has written six novels, including the classics Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962), Ray Bradbury is best known as an author of short stories. His style is so economical, striking, and lyrical that it has been described as prose poetry, and he is as skillful at presenting horror and the grotesque as was Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), his primary influence. Bradbury is known as one of "the big four" of the genres of science fiction and fantasy, the others being Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein. He is deeply respected and beloved by genre fans and by students who study him in high school and college. His significance in fantasy and horror owe much to his background, his prose style, his recurrent themes, and the sense of wonder that pervades his work.
Bradbury's second story sale, "The Candle" (1941), marked the beginning of his association with Weird Tales, the legendary American pulp magazine that first appeared in 1923 and that, despite changes in editorial staff and many deaths and resurrections, keeps returning from the literary grave. This magazine published such enormously popular authors as H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch of Psycho fame, and Conan the Barbarian 's creator Robert E. Howard. Weird Tales led supernatural fiction out of a poorly written Gothic and ghost tradition. It is essential to grasp the primacy of Weird Tales and its large fan base to recognize Bradbury's contemporary literary milieu and the adulation he earned during the years 1941 to 1948, when he became the most distinguished contributor to that magazine.
Bradbury began publishing collections of linked stories in the 1950s with The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man (1951). Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and Dandelion Wine (1957) are fix-ups, or novels constructed of previously published short stories. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962), Death Is a Lonely Business (1985), and A Graveyard for Lunatics (1990) are stand-alone novels.
The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man exemplify Bradbury's evolving style, motifs, and themes. Though his technique varies from the subtle to the ironic to the hair-raising, one can call The Martian Chronicles a fantasy based on science fiction motifs and The Illustrated Man, which is darker and more tainted by the supernatural, despite occasional nods to science fiction (futuristic machines, spaceships, aliens), overall a work of horror.
The Martian Chronicles tells of the emigration of humans to a Mars that is either peopled by or haunted by eerie, wistful, telepathic Martians. Humans gradually displace and replace the natives, and in 2003 (which, in the 1940s, seemed sufficiently distant to allow for terraforming technologies), the settlement of Tenth City has hardly any red dust blowing through it, so exactly is it like a small midwestern town. In 2005 Earth is destroyed by thermonuclear war (as recounted in the classic short story "There Will Come Soft Rains") and, not long after, human colonies and customs have erased all vestiges of the natives. The men now are the Martians.
This sounds like an allegory of the European colonization of the West, and read in one sitting the stories may be taken as a dirge for lost civilizations. The theme of loss runs like a sad tune throughout Bradbury's work: loss of loved ones, of friendships, of youth, of golden opportunities, of marvels trampled in a blind rush of capitalistic greed. The dictum that "you can't stand in the way of progress" is multivalent in Bradbury's fiction. Progress brings us to the stars, but dazzles us so that many other good things are left behind.
The stories in The Illustrated Man are united by a slight yet disturbing conceit: the narrator encounters a man whose skin is painted by "living" tattoos. One of these will show the death of the observer if watched long enough. After a night of viewing different tattoo stories as though films in miniature, the narrator is horrified to see his own destiny revealed—in the future, from some unimaginable need for revenge, the illustrated man will strangle him to death.
Both books testify to Bradbury's deceptively simple, sentimental, lyrical prose and to challenging themes such as revenge, insanity, loneliness, hope, and survival. Bradbury's short, straightforward sentences owe their delights and horrors to sensory descriptions (such as the aromas of cut grass or burning autumn leaves), to settings evocative of his fondly remembered hometown Waukegan, Illinois, and to pensive dialogues in which young children or old men express their sense of wonder when contemplating the star-filled night sky, the miracles of sunlight or the menace of shadows, the innocence of childhood, or the tragedies of missed meetings and lost loves.
Dandelion Wine is narrated by twelve-year-old Douglas (Bradbury's middle name) Spaulding, who is, like many of his young protagonists, loosely based on Bradbury himself. This work captures, as though in a glass of home-made wine, the recurring flavors and themes of his fiction. During the summer of 1928, Douglas gains maturity as the loss of a friend and the appearance of a murderer transform his perceptions of his world. The boy's powers of imagination, Bradbury emphasizes, both enrich and darken his life.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is again semi-autobiographical, but far darker—literally—than Dandelion Wine. Sunlight and sunset color Dandelion Wine, but much of Something Wicked occurs at night and in the dark places of the human psyche. Light and Dark are allegorized throughout the tale of Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, who are seduced by the arrival in Green Town, Illinois, of a carnival called Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show. This evil carnival tempts the townsfolk with its supernatural powers to grant dreams—but also to steal souls. The merry-go-round, the Hall of Mirrors, the parade, and other carnivalesque trappings become truly creepy under Bradbury's skillful pen.
Fahrenheit 451 treats the themes of imagination and loss so powerfully that it is alluded to in discussions of governmental oppression and censorship almost as commonly as George Orwell's 1984. The protagonist, Guy Montag, has happily labored as a "fireman"—a burner of books—for ten years. As the novel opens, he meets seventeen-year-old Clarisse, who asks him unsettling questions: Does he ever think about his society instead of mouthing the socially acceptable phrases? Is he curious about the books he burns? Is he happy?
Their friendship changes his life. Montag begins to question his world, and finds fear and unhappiness everywhere. Eventually he meets a secret society of readers who preserve illegal books by memorizing them. A New York Times reviewer praised "Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own."
Bradbury's fiction developed into a more realistic (though still rhapsodic) mode during the 1960s and 1970s, and relied more on non-supernatural, if sometimes morbid, themes, such as dysfunctional marriages, the dangers of technology, fear of aging, and fear of death. This development can be observed in the collections The Machineries of Joy (1964) and I Sing the Body Electric (1969). Bradbury contributed to his favorite genres by editing anthologies and writing children's stories; he also wrote nonfiction and plays.
Not until 1985 did a new Bradbury novel appear: Death Is a Lonely Business, which is based on his years as a pulp fiction writer. The protagonist's optimism and hope of success bizarrely preserve him from the deaths that are striking down many of his contemporaries. Like Death, A Graveyard for Lunatics is a detective novel about a writer, this one working in the Hollywood of the 1950s. Hired as a science fiction film writer at a big studio, he is led to the adjoining graveyard, where he discovers a body frozen in time. Though not as famous as his earlier work, both novels continue his theme of a past that cannot stop haunting the present.
Perhaps the greatest contribution Bradbury has made to fantasy and horror lies in his creating and ever re-creating a bona fide American romantic, melancholic tradition: a nostalgia for corn fields and small towns and suburbs, replacing the previously overwhelming European nostalgia for aristocracies and castles and cathedrals.
Bradbury began writing for television in 1951 for such programs as Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone, and the highly praised USA Network television series The Bradbury Theatre (1985-1992) is based on many of his short stories. Bradbury has also written plays and filmscripts, including the Gregory Peck-starring Moby Dick (1956) and the Academy Award-nominated Icarus Montgolfier Wright (1962). Fahrenheit 451 was adapted for film (by François Truffaut) in 1966, The Illustrated Man in 1969, and Something Wicked This Way Comes in 1983, and The Martian Chronicles appeared as a television miniseries (1979). Something Wicked is the best of these adaptations.
In 1991 the extent of Bradbury's influence on later generations of writers was evidenced when William F. Nolan and Martin H. Greenberg commissioned twenty-two original stories (one by Bradbury) for The Bradbury Chronicles, published to honor his fiftieth year as a writer. The contributors included such noted names as Richard Matheson and his son Richard Christian Matheson, Charles L. Grant, F. Paul Wilson, Ed Gorman, and Chad Oliver. Horror authors Steven King and Clive Barker have also acknowledged his influence. Bradbury has earned the 1977 World Fantasy Award, the 1980 Grandmaster of Fantasy Gandalf Award, the 1989 Bram Stoker Award, and the 1988 Nebula Grand Master Award, and was inducted into the University of Kansas Center for the Study of Science Fiction's Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame (1999), all for Lifetime Achievement.
"Bradbury, Ray(mond Douglas)." Contemporary Novelists. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bradbury-raymond-douglas
"Bradbury, Ray(mond Douglas)." Contemporary Novelists. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bradbury-raymond-douglas
Bradbury, Ray Douglas
"Bradbury, Ray Douglas." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bradbury-ray-douglas
"Bradbury, Ray Douglas." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bradbury-ray-douglas