Fahrenheit 451The Martian ChroniclesThe Illustrated ManDandelion WineI Sing the Body ElectricSomething Wicked This Way Comes

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Dec 7, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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S
cience fiction author Ray Bradbury has contributed such iconic classics of science fiction
literature as
Fahrenheit 451

(1953),
The Martian Chronicles

(1950),
The Illustrated Man

(1951),
Dandelion Wine

(1957),
I Sing the Body Electric

(1951), and
Something Wicked This
Way Comes

(1962). His work has been adapted to film as well as to television, the latter
in such venues as "
The
Twilight Zone", "Night Gallery", and, of course, "The Ray Bradbury
Theater."

Ray

Douglas Bradbury was born on

August

22,

1
920 in Waukegan, Illinois. His family moved frequently
as his father (a lineman) sought work during the Great Depression. They at last settled in Los Angeles, but
images of the Midwest would haunt Bradbury's stories throughout his life. Ray Bradbury gradua
ted from Los
Angeles High School in 1938, and began selling newspapers on Los Angeles street corners. Bradbury, who'd
written his first story on a sheet of butcher paper at age 11, published his first professional story,
"Hollerbochen's Dilemma", in 1938 i
n
Imagination!
. By 1941 he was not only participating in the world of sci
-
fi
fandom, but he had met a number of professional authors who helped him develop his style. By 1943, he had
stopped selling newspapers and was writing full time. Two years after tha
t his "Big Black and White Game" was
selected as one of the Best American Short Stories.

In 1947 Bradbury married Marguerite McClure. Soon after he began his most productive period of work.
And after publishing
The Martian Chronicles
, in 1950, he was able
to redirect the sale of his short fiction to such
slick periodicals as the
Saturday Evening Post
,
Esquire
,
McCall's
, and
Collier's Weekly
. The book itself continues
to be highly regarded by critics, both for its literary style (poetic, symbolic, weaving nostalgic lyricism with the
macabre) and for Bradbury's subtly persuasive handling of the underlying messages and themes.
The Martian
Chron
icles
, for example, has been called an allegory for man's moral blindness in the face of "manifest destiny".
In fact the same kind of ideals and scars that developed in the conquering of the American West are rear their
head in the colonizing of the Martia
n Landscape. At the same time 1950s America's xenophobia and fears of
nuclear annihilation suffuse the tale, giving added nuance and a transcendent depth.


Bradbury published

Fahrenheit 451
,

in 1953,

a work whose message would (in the 1990s) find renewed
relevance with the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web
--

as the mainstream culture's
traditional expectations about the control and distribution of information clashed with the freer expectations of
Internet culture. The story itself portra
ys a future in which all books are banned and in which firemen are
responsible for book burnings. The title derives from the temperature at which paper burns, 451 degrees
Fahrenheit. Other versions of Bradbury's novel include film versions by
François Truffaut

(1966) and
Frank
Darabont

(announced for 2007). BBC Radio 4 has aired at least two dramatizations as well. In 2004, Bradbury
was outrag
ed by
Michael Moore
's high
-
handed rip
-
off of Bradbury's title for
Fahrenheit 9/11
.

Presently, at 84 years of age, Bradbury remains an active writer, working from the basement office of
his home in L
os Angeles, California. In 2001 he published
From the Dust Returned
, a Halloween tale of an
enchanted house in Illinois and it's peculiar residents. Although still very much creatively active, Bradbury is also
viewed as an established past master. The reco
gnition and awards he has accrued over the years include the O.
Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the
Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, and the PEN Center USA
West Lifetime
Achievement Award. Additionally, Bradbury has been nominated for an Academy Award (for the animated film
Icarus Montgolfier Wright
) and has won an Emmy for his teleplay of
The Halloween Tree
.






"Ray Bradbury."
NNDB: Tracking the Entire Wor
ld
. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.
<http://www.nndb.com/people/747/000022681/>.