Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury

Numerous words can be used to illustrate Ray Bradbury, from novelist,
to short-story writer, to essayist, screenwriter, and poet. A huge success
in each of these categories, he is an artist of great achievement, which is
evident by his vast amount of awards and rave reviews throughout the years.

To many, Bradbury is known as the writer of the century due to his undying
influential work that continues to emerge.

Born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920, Ray Bradbury began an
early interest in writing as a young child. As most children tend to do,
Bradbury developed a dream of a rather irrational future for himself, which
stemmed from his love of magic. With his vivid imagination and creativity,
Bradbury had aspirations of becoming a magician.With encouragement from
his family, Bradbury turned from his magic and used his creative mind to
begin writing. At the age of eleven, Bradbury began to express his
interest of writing by creating short stories on scraps of butcher paper
that he found around the house.

In 1934, the Bradbury family moved to Los Angeles, California where
Ray Bradbury ended his formal education. His formal education ended with
his graduation from a Los Angeles High School in 1938, but he furthered it
by himself; at night in the library and by day at his typewriter. While in
school, Bradbury was known as a student who enjoyed spending his time alone
reading and writing, developing the creative potential that he knew he
possessed. An ex-classmate of Ray’s said, “in high school Raywas
remembered as one of the few members of his gang who did not enroll in
Stanford University. Mr. Bradbury claimed he was too poor to attend.”He
explained how he knew that Ray would have been able to attend on a
scholarship or a government loan, but “Ray wanted to write, period, not
attend useless classes.”As a student, Ray was not considered a great
writer, none of his stories even made it into the yearbook (two poems did,
however). According to his classmate, Ray’s teacher urged this young
aspiring writer to stop by her classroom everyday after school to work on
his grammar skills, which needed a considerable amount of attention. “She
said that since he wasn’t going to college, but still wanted to write
professionally, he needed to show up everyday for extra tutoring.”His
classmate ended by saying that Ray is the writer he is today thanks to this
teacher.

In 1937, Bradbury became a member of the Los Angeles Science Fiction
League, through which he created many of his earliest stories. With no real
recognized education or experience with writing (besides the help of his
teacher), Bradbury flourished with his first story at the youthful age of
eighteen. This first publication was called “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma,”
which was published in Imagination!, an amateur fan magazine.At this
point in time, Bradbury was not yet being paid for his writing, so he
managed to get by through selling newspapers on Los Angeles street corners
from 1938 to 1942. This job was an enjoyment for the young writer though,
because he was given the ability to read and gain ideas through articles in
the newspapers.

In 1939, at the age of nineteen, Ray created his own fan magazine
called Futuria Fantasia and worked as the editor. Bradbury published four
issues of Futuria Fantasia, contributing most of the published material
himself. Bradbury’s first paid publication was “Pendulum” in 1941 in Super
Science Stories, which, according to Joe Hartlaub was”one of the many
wonderfully trashy pulp genre magazines of the era that occasionally, by
the wonder of accident and the benevolence of design, permitted major
talent like Bradbury to develop and grow.” By 1943 Bradbury began writing
full-time, leaving his job selling newspapers. With a concentration on
creating short stories, he contributed many to periodicals, which later
rewarded him as his story “The Big Black and White Game” was selected for
Best American Short Stories.

In 1947, Bradbury published his first collection of short stories,
called “Dark Carnival,” which he sold to Doubleday Publishing House in 1949
for $750. This collection (according to Bradbury) was of his finest work,
which took him four years to write and later became known as “The Martian
Chronicles.” Previous to selling this collection Bradbury had been having
some economic hardships, struggling as a writer. With his recent marriage
to Marguerite McClure, the success of his book could not of come at a
better time. Within three years, he had already sold 3,000 copies, with
which paid for a year’s rent on his home in Venice, California.

Having gained a major growth in popularity, Bradbury was later
introduced to a new idea by director John Huston.Bradbury was asked to
come to Ireland to create the film “Moby Dick,” which without hesitation,
he agreed.This was a short-lived career of Bradbury’s, yet he did spend
a considerable amount of years dedicated to the creation of screenplays.

Hollywood told Bradbury that he is just not meant to be a screenwriter, and
although he completely disagrees, considering the production of “Moby Dick”
and 64 episodes of “Ray Bradbury Theatre,” he is satisfied with leaving his
creative mind to produce books. Ray hopes that “The Martian Chronicles”
will soon be made into a movie within the next few years, with the movie
rights in the hands of Mel Gibson. Bradbury stated, “I’ve written several
versions of the screenplay myself, but they don’t like my interpretation of
my work.”
Ray Bradbury has won many different awards for his extraordinary
accomplishments as a writer. He is a winner of the Nebula, Prometheus,
O’Henry Memorial, Balrog, Bram Stoker, Benjamin Franklin, Jules Verne,
Aviation-Space Writers, and World Fantasy (Lifetime Achievement) Awards.

He received the Grandmaster of Fantasy Gandalf Award in 1980 and was
selected to be in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1970 by the Science
Fiction Writers of America. Other awards of his include the Valentine
Davies Award in 1984 from the Writers Guild of America for his work in
Cinema, and an Emmy for the teleplay of “The Halloween Tree.” Ray Bradbury
also received an Oscar nomination for his animated film “Icarus Montgolfier
Wright.” Among these many awards in which he has been honored, the most
unusual was when an Apollo astronaut named the Dandelion Crater on the Moon
after Bradbury’s Novel, “Dandelion Wine.”
From the publication of “The Martian Chronicles,” Ray Bradbury is
known as a leading writer of science fiction. Today, Ray Bradbury lives in
Los Angeles with his wife and their four cats, and is still actively
writing.

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The Writing of Ray Bradbury
The author of more than 500 literary works, Ray Bradbury will be
forever known for his magnificent writing in the science fiction genre.He
has been quoted numerous times saying that “great writers are made, not
born.” Bradbury “credits the development of his imagination to his mother,
who was sneaking him into the movies at age three, where, by osmosis, he
caught the creative virus,” states journalist Joe Hartlaub. Thanks to this
creative virus of his, people have been able to enjoy his stories for years
and still long for more. His books are long-term bestsellers and have been
translated into over twenty languages to satisfy his fans.His best work
(and the majority of it) has been in the area of short stories, which have
been included in the Best American Short Story collections (1946, 1948, and
1952).

Bradbury has a number of awarded stories, the greatest of which are
“The Martian Chronicles” and “Fahrenheit 451.”He was established as a
leading writer of science fiction after the publication of “The Martian
Chronicles,” which is still read worldwide by sci-fi enthusiasts, students,
and just about anyone who crosses its path. Not only do many students read
his stories, but now they have become standard reading for many high school
and college students as well. The book “The Martian Chronicles” consists
of a series of short stories that go into detail of the first attempts of
Earth people to conquer and colonize Mars. The achievement that this novel
has received can be easily credited to a certain aspect that people have
found to be so intriguing about Ray Bradbury’s writing. What Ray does in
this book is he closely reflects some of the prevailing concerns of America
in the 1950s, the early atomic age. These concerns included the fear of
nuclear war, the longing for a simpler life, reactions against racism and
censorship, and fear of foreign political powers. He uses such a stream of
reality that people, more or less, get drawn into the realism that the
story holds (Joe Hartlaub). His visions of the past, the future, and the
present truly delight his readers and give them a taste of something knew.

It has been said that his short stories, (such as those in the “The Martian
Chronicles”), are closer to fantasy than science fiction and closer to
reality than fantasy. Clearly, Ray Bradbury writes science fiction, but he
goes past that and writes with a sense of truth.

After the publication of “The Martian Chronicles” in 1950, Ray
Bradbury continued to produce stories that gained huge recognition.His
next book, which again was a collection of short stories, was called “The
Illustrated Man,” which tells the story of a man covered in magical and
exotic tattoos, time travel and nuclear war. Although recalled by many as
confusing, due to his quick and unusual transitions, “The Illustrated Man,”
like so many others, are bestsellers that are enjoyed because of their
uniqueness.

Following “The Illustrated Man,” Bradbury produced “Fahrenheit 451”
which developed out of a series of five short stories that he wrote in the
early 1950s.It tells a story set in the future where government
censorship is at an ultimate high. It is set a time where the written word
is forbidden and firemen are utilized for not only putting out fires but
also for creating them to burn books. An attribute of this novel that I
find to be quite fascinating is its title, because Fahrenheit 451 is the
temperature at which books burn.

In addition to these highly known books, there are hundreds more that
have been acknowledged and commended for their amazement and captivation.

Some of his other well-known works include “From the Dust Returned,” “Death
is a Lonely Business,” “A Graveyard for Lunatics,” “The Murderer,” “The
October Country,” “Dandelion Wine,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,””I
Sing the Body Electric!, “Quicker Than the Eye,” and “Driving Blind.”
For over forty years Ray Bradbury has been writing novels, short
stories, plays, poems, and screenplays that have enchanted the lives of
many and have put him at the top of American literature. For these reasons
and more, Bradbury will continue to be one the most popular writers in the
science fiction genre. His literary works will live on and continue to
excite readers for years to come because ofhisdivinewriting,
imagination, and creative style.

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The Acceptance of the Work of Ray Bradbury
The literary works of Ray Bradbury have been so highly rated and
thought of that it is relatively hard to find a critic that has a negative
comment to share. Many just take a moment to conclude that he is brilliant
and an outstanding American literature writer.While there are so many
features of Bradbury’s writing and style that are commended so highly,
there is one facet that critics have had a hard time swallowing.In many
of Bradbury’s stories, such as “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Murderer,” it is
clear that he holds the fear that “human beings are going to dehumanize
themselves out of existence using machines and technology,” according to an
analysis of his writing by an unknown author.As an outcome of his
writing, critics have accused him of being afraid that machines are going
to computerize people out of existence, thus accusing him of distrusting
science and being against science fiction. With ongoing criticisms such as
these, badgering him about his dedication to the genre of science fiction,
Bradbury continues to defend himself, while his popularity has yet to be
affected in a negative way. He defends himself by saying that it is not
that he distrusts science, rather he enjoys using his writings to inspire
the human race to reach new limits.

It has been a common interest of critics to bring up Bradbury’s
distinct style of science fiction writing, being, that he never gets
tangled in the “how” of science fiction, but rather delves into ideas and
settings that might occur. While many other science fiction authors go
into detail concerning the “how,” Bradbury skips a few steps and uses his
creative mind to make things easier than we know them to be in all reality.

This facet, along with how he captivates his readers with charm,
bewitchment and excitement is why critics can’t stop talking about him.

They accept him as being the brilliant and popular author that he is
because of this sense of creativity and ongoing imagination that he
possesses.

Many people’s interest in Bradbury’s work stems from the fact that
his topics tend to be relevant to what is happening in society.At the
time of the publication of “The Martian Chronicles” and “Fahrenheit 451”
there was a direct connection with them to current issues in society.

Visiting Mars and anti-censorship were factors that were at a high in the
interest of the world, therefore these stories caught the eyes of many.

With only minor negative criticisms, Bradbury has still not faltered;
instead he has continued to rise with his amazing work. He will be forever
applauded for his achievement in the realm of science fiction, and while
you cannot always make everyone happy, he will always be known as a truly
great American literature writer whose stories will live on and continue to
gain recognition.