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Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury
     Ray Bradbury has been considered one of America’s greatest
science-fiction writer’s. His work often satires human nature and shows
his reader’s the flaws found deep within the individual. Not only is
Bradbury a novelist, but he is also a , short-story writer, essayist,
playwright, screenwriter, and poet
      Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920, the
third son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg
Bradbury. In 1926 Ray Bradbury's family moved from Waukegan, Illinois
to Tucson, Arizona, only to return to Waukegan again in May 1927. By
1931 (the dawn of the Great Depression) he began writing his own
stories on butcher paper. In 1932, after his father was laid off his job as
a telephone lineman, the Bradbury family again moved to Tucson and
again returned to Waukegan the following year. In 1934 the Bradbury
family moved to Los Angeles, California.
     Bradbury graduated from a Los Angeles High School in 1938. His
formal education ended there, but he furthered it by himself. He went to
the library by night and by day at he worked at his typewriter. He sold
newspapers on Los Angeles street corners from 1938 to 1942.
Bradbury's first story publication was "Hollerbochen's Dilemma," printed
in 1938 in Imagination!, an amateur fan magazine. In 1939, Bradbury
published four issues of Futuria Fantasia, his own fan magazine,
contributing much of the published material himself. Bradbury's first
paid publication was "Pendulum" in 1941 to Super Science Stories. In
1942 Bradbury wrote "The Lake," a short story later added to a collection
of short stories called The October Country. This was the story in which
Bradbury discovered his distinctive writing style. By 1943 he had given
up his job selling newspapers and began writing full-time, contributing
numerous short stories to periodicals. In 1945 his short story "The Big
Black and White Game" was selected for Best American Short Stories. In
1947 Bradbury married Marguerite McClure, and that same year he
gathered much of his best material and published them as , his first
short story collection.
     His reputation as a leading writer of science fiction was established
with the publication of in 1950 (published in England under the title
The Silver Locusts), which describes the first attempts of Earth people to
conquer and colonize Mars, the constant thwarting of their efforts by the
gentle, telepathic Martians, the eventual colonization, and finally the
effect on the Martian settlers of a massive nuclear war on Earth. As
much a work of social criticism as of science fiction, The Martian
Chronicles reflects some of the prevailing anxieties of America in the early
atomic age of the 1950's: the fear of nuclear war, the longing for a
simpler life, reactions against racism and censorship, and fear of foreign
political powers. The book was definitely a reflection of the times in
which he lived.
     Another of Bradbury's best-known works, the novel , was released
in 1953 and is set in a future when the written word is forbidden. Books
are burned when found, along with entire houses, sometimes entire
families. Resisting a totalitarian state which burns all the books, a group
of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy.
     Ray Bradbury's work has been included in the Best American
Short Story collections (1946, 1948, and 1952). He has been awarded
the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award in 1954,
the Aviation-Space Writer's Association Award for best space article in an
American Magazine in 1967, the World Fantasy Award for lifetime
achievement, and the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction
Writers of America. His animated film about the history of flight, Icarus
Montgolfier Wright, was nominated for an academy award, and his
teleplay of The Halloween Tree won an Emmy.
     Ray Bradbury's writing has been honored in many ways, but
perhaps the most unusual was when an Apollo astronaut named the
Dandelion Crater on the Moon after Bradbury's novel.
     Outside of his literary achievements, Ray Bradbury was the idea
consultant and wrote the basic scenario for the United States Pavilion at
the 1964 New York World's Fair. He conceived the metaphors for
Spaceship Earth, EPCOT, Disney World, and he contributed to the
conception of the Orbitron space ride at Euro-Disney, France. He was
creative consultant for the Jon Jerde Partnership, the architectural firm
that blueprinted the Glendale Galleria, The Westside Pavilion in Los
Angeles, and Horton Plaza in San Diego.
     Ray Bradbury currently lives in California and is still actively
writing and lecturing. He said in an interview, “I hope I die before my
voices.” He went on to explain that when he awakes he is greeted by his
“voices” who tell him to what him to write. He hopes this continues for
the rest of his life, or else his life “would have no purpose or meaning. It
was would be void and empty and hardly a life at all.”
     Ray Douglas Bradbury is a highly esteemed member of the literary
world. His plays, novels, and poetry shall continue to speak to millions
of people throughout the years as they undoubtedly already have.



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