The link below will take you to a complimentary, but somewhat condescending, review of Ray's collection, THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN, which appeared in Time Magazine in 1953. The review refers to Ray as the "poet of the pulps", and then goes on to suggest that Ray should give the "elf of fantasy" which appears in his writing a rest. Clearly, Ray's literary reputation vastly exceeds how this reviewer characterized his writing in the early 1950's.
Yes, it's unfortunate the bias against fantasy was so great back then that even a writer as brilliant as Bradbury could not completely escape it. However, I'm sure in 1953 Bradbury was probably happy just to get reviewed in TIME magazine, despite the condescension in the review. But the reviewer's arrogance in implying that fantasy, no matter how well-written, can never be equal to the best non-fantasy fiction is still infuriating. Reviews like this may have been one of the reasons that Bradbury wrote proportionately fewer fantasy and science fiction stories after this period.
Mr. Bradbury's writings were so far ahead of their times. His stories offered readers a view of things to occur in the years not yet calendered!
Fahrenheit 451 is filled with prime-time views of today's world and our realizing that there is indeed More than one way to Burn a Book. The Murderer addresses the Albert Brock in all of us and how we so often seek that chocolate shake for all of the techno-invasions that now overwhelm us.
Golden Apples of the Sun, now 70 years old, and sure enough a scoop of solar elements has been gathered by a Nasa craft. Of course, the Pedesrtrian is now the way of so many of our evening streets throughtout the lands. As I am "Walking! Just Walking," I am being surveilled closely with every step taken.
There Will Come Soft Rains has arrived as machines clean our floors, cook the meals, control the clocks, orally greet and bid us adieu. Why, just the other day I was reminded my car was parked exactly in the driveway at our exact address!
Martian Chronicles has been more of a non-fiction than a sci-fi with visits to and samples from our neighboring Red Planet. Mars is Heaven may await the first Earth people to arrive. The Veldt is a part of every young person's scenery and becoming more frequently visited via 3D aparatus and their rooms filled with surreal screens. Beware Parents!
Though not only on a far-off planet, All Summer in a Day has warnings of how separated individuals become when standing by their truths and unique understandings that may bring about cruel inter-personal exchanges. And the Illustrated Man, ironically, was indeed a forerunner for recent generations of athletes-actors-fighters-nightlifers. I wonder what the wandering carnival performer would have to say today?
A final wonder of RB futures about to arrive! I Sing the Body Electric ~ the parts are all available. Now, it is just a matter of time...if not already?!
"I don't write science fiction. Science fiction is a depiction of the real."
- Ray BradburyThis message has been edited. Last edited by: fjp451,
Today, I received my copy of THE CARNIVAL AND OTHER STORIES, by Charles Beaumont, published by Subterranean Press. It's a beautiful book. And the insightful introduction by David J. Schow contains the following observation, which is very relevant to this thread: "[Ray] Bradbury, [Gerald] Kersh, and [John] Collier were all in the front lines of the war to make fantasists more respectable in literature by transcending their pulp origins. Publication in slicks such as COLLIER'S or THE SATURDAY EVENING POST was hard won."
And if you have never read any of the terrific work by John Collier (one of Ray's favorite writers) or Gerald Kersh (one of Harlan Ellison's favorite writers)...well, what are you waiting for?
The link below will take you to an interesting 2015 article by Anthony Enns, who uses Time Magazine's 1953 description of Ray Bradbury in its title: "The Poet of the Pulps: Ray Bradbury and the Struggle for Prestige in Postwar Science Fiction":
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