R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

Posted on June 6, 2012. Filed under: Short Stories, writing | Tags: , |

Some of my friends are literary snobs. They refuse to read Westerns, mystery novels, and, of course, speculative fiction. I am a bit of a snob myself. I refuse to read (except when tricked) crap.

Ray Bradbury elevated the genre of science fiction to literature and should have made it impossible (snobs and all) for anyone to dismiss that entire genre again after novels like Farenheit 451 or my favorite short story ever, “Kaleidoscope.”

“Kaleidoscope,” originally published in the short story collection The Illustrated Man, tells the tale of several men whose deaths are imminent. Their space ship has just been torn apart by an asteroid and they are all drifting alone in space to various planets and asteroid belts.  The main character, Hollis, has a chip on his shoulder. He hasn’t lead the happiest of lives and blames everyone else for it.

Normally, that wouldn’t sound like a story that will show you the meaning of life, but Bradbury made the characters so real, and their revelations in the midst of their final living moments so relatable, that it teaches the reader so much about a life worth living. That is, if you aren’t too much of a snob to read it.

Rest in peace, Mr. Bradbury. Your genius will be missed.

 

 

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