Bradbury was perhaps the best known writer of fantasy and science fiction in the United States. The poetic, literary quality of many of his stories helped improve the reputation of science fiction from its critically dismissed pulp beginnings.
Unlike many writers in the SF genre, Bradbury was not particularly interested in technology or scientific theory; it was the memories and emotions of the characters that he captured so well. He considered himself simply as a writer, and indeed many of his works are mysteries, horror, and other genres. His output counted 27 novels and over 600 short stories. When pressed, Ray Bradbury might call himself a fantasy writer.
Born in Waukegan, Illinois, and spending his early childhood there before moving to Los Angeles, his tales often involved nostalgia, homesickness, characters feeling displaced, and a yearning for simpler times.
Many of his short stories were adapted for radio and early television, on programs such ad X MINUS ONE, LIGHTS OUT, and SUSPENSE.
In 1953 he contributed to the story of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, and in a complicated way his Saturday Evening Post story became THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS. Only a single scene was used, of the dinosaur attacking a lighthouse. Bradbury would subsequently re-title the story The Foghorn, to set it apart from the film.
BEAST featured the stop motion work of Ray Harryhausen, who was a good friend of Bradbury’s, first meeting at the home of Forrest J. Ackerman. All three were part of SF’s “First Fandom” and among the first genre enthusiasts to make the jump from fan to professional.
Also in 1953, Ray Bradbury began the screenplay for John Huston’s MOBY DICK (1956), and turned the story of his involvement into the fictionalized Green Shadows, White Whale.
A number of Bradbury’s mysteries were adapted for ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS from 1956-62.
Surprisingly, given the many thematic similarities between their work, only one of Ray Bradbury’s stories was adapted for Rod Serling’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE: I Sing The Body Electric. This would be later remade as the TV movie THE ELECTRIC GRANDMOTHER (1982).
Bradbury mentioned in later years that he was friendly with Gene Roddenberry, who wanted him to write a STAR TREK episode. However, he had to turn him down, as Bradbury felt he had no talent for writing to fit other people’s fictional creations.
He will be missed.
- Snyder will Illustrate Man (0.674)
- Ray Bradbury on Adapting Melville's Allegorical Sea Monster, Moby Dick (0.674)
- Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) (0.674)
- Bradbury & Halloween Horror (0.674)
- Sound of Thunder (2005) - Retrospective Science Fiction Film Review (0.674)
- Tom Mankiewicz, R.I.P. (RANDOM - 0.293)