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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

  Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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Ray Bradbury

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Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of Ray Bradbury and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Bradbury.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Bradbury: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Bradbury tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Bradbury worthy; in sum, to help you rank Ray Bradbury (and the works by Bradbury listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

A Few Words About Ray Bradbury

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.

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Other Ray Bradbury Resources

Ray Bradbury Resources on the Web

First of all is the official Bradbury site, Ray Bradbury. There are (or were) also other dedicated Bradbury sites: The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana-Purdue Universities; Bradburymedia (technically a blog); and Ray Bradbury Online [now defunct: link is to archived copy].

Worth especial note is the page Ray Bradbury: To the Canon by Rocketship, A Survey of the Critical Scholarship by Lance Hawvermale, which is just what it says it is, and quite valuable now defunct: link is to archived copy].

Of individual web pages, Locus Online has an excellent Bradbury appreciation, Yesterday’s Tomorrows. Then there’s The Templeton Gate, which—as usual—does a very nice job with its Ray Bradbury Page; and there’s a nice, lengthy essay, “The Regionalist: Ray Bradbury of Illinois”, at First Principles [archived copy]. At Salon, there is another sort of appreciation, “Ray Bradbury: The pulp god lives”, based on the “Sound of Thunder” movie but ranging afield. And The New York Times noticed him in a brief article, Vintage Bradbury, Packaged Anew.

Besides general Bradbury appreciations, there are some specific notes. One is “Ray Bradbury is on fire!” at Salon, an article on the 81-year-old Bradbury suddenly becoming a hot Hollywood property (again). In another, “Fahrenheit 451 Misinterpreted” (L.A. Weekly), we learn why we shouldn’t trust others’ assessments of what a work of fiction “means”.

There are also, of course, interviews. If you want to see some of those, go to the big sourcebook “Conversations with Ray Bradbury”, an accumulation of interviews with Bradbury (by various interviewers) ranging from 1948 to 2002; that collection, plus really substantial biographical and bibliographical data, was created by Steven Aggelis as his doctoral dissertation, and is available on the Florida State University site (whence the link here will take you); the document is in PDF, which any browser should handle. Also of note is a 2010 interview that form the basis for the Paris Review Number 203 in their notable series, “The Art of Fiction”.

And there is an active Bradbury discussion forum.

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Ray Bradbury Resources in Print

The page cited above, Ray Bradbury: To the Canon by Rocketship, A Survey of the Critical Scholarship by Lance Hawvermale [archived copy], links to a thorough bibliography (in Word document format) of articles and other print works about Bradbury.

Here are some Bradbury-focussed books (many, but not all, from the list cited above):

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Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by Ray Bradbury ***

(» Bradbury was primarily a short-story writer; even of his few novels, all but one are “fix-ups” assembled from collections of short stories, often only loosely connected.
» This list omits a number of good Bradbury books that are mainstream, and so not appropriate for listing on this site.)

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