R is for Ray Bradbury: The sci-fi legend turns 90!

Ray-BradburyImage Credit: Everett CollectionRay Bradbury, the venerable sci-fi titan, turns 90 this Sunday. Most know Bradbury for his dystopian book-burning bonanza Fahrenheit 451 and his short story collections The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. Or perhaps you remember him for his creepy carnival novel Something Wicked This Way Comes or for popularizing the time-travel concept of the “butterfly effect” in his story “A Sound of Thunder.” For me, he’ll always be the man who taught me the real meaning of Halloween.

Pretty much the best thing about his Wikipedia page is the description of a formative incident in his childhood when “a carnival entertainer, Mr. Electrico, touched him on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, ‘Live forever!’” Judging by the man’s subsequent longevity, it seems to have worked. Any big Bradbury fans out there? I mean, other than this girl (Warning: N-particularly-SFW.) Anyone planning on reading or re-reading something of his to celebrate his birthday?

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  • Geo

    Little known short story called “The Veldt”. Read it when I was 12 and still maybe my favorite short story of all time.

    • T.P.

      Our 10th grade English teacher made us read “The Veldt” as well as FARENHEIT 451 and I’ve loved Bradbury ever since.

    • C

      Big fan! We had to read that one in sixth grade, it still creeps me out.

    • Carla

      The Veldt is one of the best stories ever written. Love it!

    • Lynda

      I completely forgot about The Veldt. I LOVED that story.

  • Matt

    A bit of a crank, but still a God.

  • DKT

    I love Ray Bradbury. He’s such a treasure of a storyteller. The October Country and Something Wicked This Way Comes pretty much defined Halloween for me.

  • whatevs

    Frankly, I think Farenheit 451 is overrated. Of course, though, I respect the opinions of everyone else who likes that book. Just a matter of taste.

    • MikeS

      I’m sorry to see you think that. I’m not sure when you read it, but I’d recommend trying it again, I’ve read it numerous times and always find something new and different in it. Also it’s become rather creepy what with the ear shells so similar to ipod buds, the entertainment systems that make you feel like you’re a part of the show you’re watching, the reality shows, the ongoing war no one knows any details about, the discussion about which candidate to vote for based on their appearance…

  • Woot

    Love Ray Bradbury! Read Farenheit 451 in 8th grade and loved it. Also love his short story “All Summer in a Day.”

  • Abby

    The Illustrated Man is my personal favorite! Love Bradbury!

  • Marsha

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Bradbury, loved all of your books!

  • Christopher

    The Halloween Tree… the novel, mind you, not the silly cartoon.., will always remain one of my favorite reads ever. Great book.

  • orville

    Proud to share a birthday with you Ray. I’ll raise a glass in your honor.

  • ani

    ray bradbury is one of my top three sci-fi authors along with isaac asimov and richard matheson. i hope some of their works are still required reading in schools. ‘a sound of thunder’ has stuck with me since i first read it 15 years ago. what imagination/creativity these people had! the crap that “writers” like stephenie meyer puts out just pales in comparison.

  • Melly B

    Happy birthday, Mr. Bradbury! My dad gave me his copy of “The Illustrated Man” when I was in high school and it has remained one of my favorite books of all time. I particularly enjoyed “The Last Night of the World” and “The Long Rain.”

  • Kristen

    Every house I have ever bought has been an attempt to find the one from “Dandelion Wine”. I was lucky enough to work with the director for a small town (Bloomington, IL) stage production of DW. At the time, the only one he permitted. He is an absolute American treasure. Happy birthday Mr. Bradbury.

  • Big D

    Happy Birthday Mr. Bradbury!! Your books are timeless treasures.

  • Cindy

    Absolutely – I knew there was some reason I picked up “Farhenheit 451″ last week; to celebrate this great writers’ birthday. His book about the craft of writing is amazing too.

  • Cooper

    Happy 90th Birthday Mr Ray Bradbury. Thank you for making the wonderful short stories and it sure was pleasure to read (not to burn) them all!

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