Dr. Iman, I also got hooked at 13 in english class when we read that same story. It is called "All Summer in a Day"
How interesting. In another post, mathnerd, you said you were 8.
Well, I certainly don't believe that mathnerd is 8! But perhaps he/she's in a different dimension, where you age a LOT faster!!
Gotta see "Frost and Fire" for that. Either that or there's a backwards carousel running somewhere and we have an 18-year-old 8-year old on hand!
I started reading Bradbury so long ago I can't remember what the first story I read was... but I know that when I was younger, everything he wrote frightened and attracted me at the same time. He is truly a genius.
To be honest, I didn't even know who Ray Bradbury was until my 9th grade English teacher had us read Fahrenheit 451. It has since become my favorite book... ever. Later, we read A Sound of Thunder, which became my favorite short story until 11th grade, when that same teacher introduced me to Usher II (my now MOST favorite short story).
You're on the right path - one similar to my own when discovering Mr. B at around the same age. It just gets better and better!
Try "The Exiles" (in "The Illustrated Man") if you like "Usher II".
My first Bradbury story was "Mars Is Heaven" (aka "The Third Expedition"). I was 13 years old, and was entirely blown away. Some of my other early favorites were "Shapes of Things" (aka "Tomorrow's Child"), "The Burning Man" and "The October Game" (in my opinion, one of the greatest horror tales ever written).
My first story by Bradbury was "Fire and Ice", found in my school library in an SF anthology in about, oh, 1974.
All Summer in a Day is such a powerful story that I find I tear up even reading posts concerning it. My favorite short story from an emotional point of view.
The Martian Chronicles, when I was about 8 years old; stunning book, and probably hooked me forever on the art of the short story.
In my early teens I read an SF collection called "Second Orbit" at school - it included "The Veldt" - after that I read lots of RB, and I still think he puts _MAGIC_ on the page. Lots of SF has wonderful ideas, but few present them in such captivating language. I'm particularly fond of "Something wicked this way comes". Not many authors can make me nostalgic for things I have never experienced!
I read Fahrenheit 451 as a junior in high school (too many years ago) and did not really care for it. Considerably later in life, I became a substitute teacher, and, one day, found the book on the desk of the teacher for whom I was subbing. I am now collecting all of Ray's work that I can get my hands on.
"Not many authors can make me nostalgic for things I have never experienced!"
What a great line! He does make you feel that way! I am old enough and came from a very traditional family environment (traditional for a middle class white family), and have experienced a lot of what he writes about. But he takes me to a place that has been lost in many ways in my own memory. In bringing those to life, he reminds me and causes me to re-experience things that I had/have forgotten.
As stated above, a lot of science fiction has great ideas, and there have been a lot of significant SF writers -- writers who have contributed thier own gifts to literature and style and theme; but Bradbury does magic.
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 01-30-2005).]
I think this is because Bradbury really does recall what it was like being a child - more than most of us do (and certainly more than most authors who write about childhood); and so strikes responsive chords within us, his readers, bringing back sounds, smells, feelings, etc. that lie locked in our memory vaults.
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