Originally posted by Dandelion_child: I got hooked on Ray Bradbury just recently when I picked up 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'. 'Tis a pitty I could not have been smitted by his works earlier in life--but perhaps I wouldn't have had the capacity or depth to truly appreciate his works.
But my Gosh, it has definately changed my life--for the better. Ray Bradbury's literature has awakened my senses and made me so much more aware of the beautiful, awe-inspiring world around me. It's helped me remember how to ponder life and meditate upon it's many wonders. To listen to the wild chorus of voices whispering and mumbling and faintly calling in my head in the wee hours of the morn.
There you have it. (My first post...wheee!) =P
Well as a first post thats a damn goodun, I couldnt put it better myself.
Posts: 24 | Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom | Registered: 25 April 2003
Gotta love the teachers who push the sci-fi...mine all think I'm nuts, or they tell me I can't handle it. Appparently I'm far too young to delve into an Asimov without someone asking if I can understand it alright...much appreciated! My aunt lent me a copy of the Martian Chronicles when I was 12. I remember thinking it looked old, so it must be good. I cried at the end, kind of silly, I know, but it was amazing. I just finished IM and I'm writing an essay on it for my english class...I put a few posts in resources for some help with it, get a discussion going on the human nature of the novel...someone once told me you know the book was good when you can cry, be happy, and think all at the same time...
Originally posted by fjpalumbo: I can still remember picking up a copy of Golden Apples of the Sun as a freshman in high school. I was intrigued by the cover art and the title but had no knowledge of who Ray Bradbury was. I could not put the book down. I had never read anything quite like it.
Now as a teacher, I can truly say Mr. Bradbury was the key inspiration to my developing a classic SF/Fantasy curriculum for students 9-12. From Shelley, Wells, Poe, Clarke, Lewis, Tolkein, Clarke, Serling, Asimov, to my foundation of materials centered around Mr. Bradbury's stories, books, and movies, my hope is to get a young person interested in "reading as a life adventure." Then they can be better informed and appreciate the power of the written word.
As Mr. Bradbury succinctly proclaimed, "Science Fiction is the most important fiction being written. It is not a part of the main stream. It is the main stream!"
What better way to capture young students' attentions (in a time of techno-hype and instant feedback) than to challenge their imaginations? (Sounds a bit like Clarisse and Montag!?)
[This message has been edited by Bug (edited 05-18-2003).]
Posts: 7 | Location: canada | Registered: 16 May 2003
I'm not exactly sure which Bradbury work got me started but it was in 1975 I believe. I was in 7th grade (13 yrs. old - that seems to keep popping up) and a friend loaned me a copy of Dandelion Wine. I read that and was instantly enthralled. Growing up in the country I could easily relate. The nostalgia and images still evoke feelings that words cannot describe. Martian Chronicles followed soon after. I also remember reading two short stories in our English books, The Strawberry Window and one I believe is called Here there be tygers. Soon I was collecting Bradbury books and have a nice collection including one signed one. Ray's works have influenced me in different ways throughout the years but not a summer goes by that I don't think of Dandelion Wine or a fall without thoughts of Octobler Country or the Halloween Tree.
Well, if psychic twin means me then I guess we can trace our connection to Ray. By your nickname I surmise that Dandelion Wine is a special book of your's also. Speaking of rural America, where are you from. I grew up in rural West Virginia in an agricultural area. Green Town would be the town I would want to live in if I could find it (alas, times have changed and not necessarily for the better).
I read the Illustrated man when I was 10...wow...that was 5 years ago, seems like yesterday. That was what got me, not only hooked on Ray Bradbury, but Sci-Fi and fantasy novels in general. The socio-political issues that show up in the Illustrated Man have also gotten me interested in some of the most radical books written in the Ninties, such as Days of War, Nights of Love (I really recommend it, it is one of my favorite books, and it has been my bible for the past half-year).
Posts: 3 | Location: Madison, WI, USA | Registered: 03 June 2003
Awesome posts, everyone! I'm so glad I found this board; nice to know I'm not the only one who's been 'swept away' by Mr. Bradbury's works. And it brought a huge grin to my face to read the folks who are coming to it later than most of us ~ better late than never, welcome aboard!
Let's see....I was 12 or 13, and our school was having a book fair. I had picked out 'Hound of the Baskervilles' because everything else looked like a baby's book. My English teacher snatched it out of my hands and replaced it with 'Dandelion Wine', saying in a conspiratorial whisper, 'You're going to get so much more out of THIS.' And I did!!
It was as if some part of my brain suddenly unfolded, as a sail unfurls with a snap in a sudden gust of salt air. I got lost, wonderfully lost, in that book. And as someone said in an earlier post, Ray has become a 'touchstone' for me, a way for me to reconnect with who I am.
I am not obsessed, but I do covet that book; it holds a key to that forgotten, dusty attic in my mind. We are truly blessed to have someone with Ray's talent, honesty, and convictions in our culture!
I hope to God that one day I get to meet the man. He's been an inspiration to me to write from the heart and soul, to write crap as well as genius (*koff koff* ~ me, genius? I think not!), to be ME at all costs, the world be damned.
Science fiction IS reality.
The book club sounds great! My family is moving across the country in September, from Vermont to northern California ~ I want to swing north on our route to visit Waukegan and hopefully stroll through Ray Bradbury Park. It might be the closest I'll ever get to meeting him!
[This message has been edited by Swept_Away (edited 07-03-2003).]
Posts: 1 | Location: Springfield, VT, USA | Registered: 03 July 2003
Welcome aboard, Swept_Away. I can tell that Ray has affected you in the same way that he has for me and for many of us at this board. Sometimes I have a hard time articulating just what it is about his books that gets to me; it's some kind of mystical connection, I guess. I just know when I read his books they make me feel happy, hopeful, thoughtful, and rejuvenated. We look forward to hearing from you again.
P.S. I do hope however, that you went back and read The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is a novel I have taught to my seventh graders for about five years and they love it every year, and I love rereading it every year. (End of teacher lecture!)
Swept_Away, according to Ray's definition of genius...YES! Basically his definition consists of each person connecting with the right subject to write about, believing in it no matter who else does, and then writing it as honestly and well as possible. According to him, if what you are writing is NOT the subject for you, any resulting "block" is the person's own subconscious saying, "Guess what. I don't like you." The whole concept has to do with emotional intelligence, less with ability, and not at all with IQ.
Posts: 7299 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001
New to this board and glad to be here! Wow! What prompted me to find this board was overdosing on the Twilight Zone Marathon on the Sci Fi channel the last two days for the Fourth of July. Was feeling nostalgic and have been online and doing searches on TZ and related topics and authors. I'm 44 and grew up on the Twilight Zone (which mainly spooked me half to death) and lots of science fiction. I first read the Illustrated Man when I was pretty young - maybe that magic age of 13 - and was totally hooked. I read every sci fi book I could lay my greasy little hands on. In our public library they only had a small Sci Fi section and I stormed through it in no time. I Sing the Body Electric was a revelation. I read Asimov, Clarke, Aldiss, you name it. I was a voracious reader, a child of teachers, and read other things than sci fi but that was always my first love. I remember once my parents very seriously said to me that they thought I should broaden my reading horizons. My reply was, What could broaden my horizons more then science fiction? Mr. Bradbury's writings have always held a special place in my heart. His writing is so evocative, especially to one who grew up in a fairly idyllic small rural town. His writings spoke to me. When I read him now it is very nostalgic for me, it brings back the sixties in which I grew up, and the small rural town I grew up in. "The Veldt" scared the living crap out of me, the robot grandma made me cry, and IM was like a dissertation on how to write - and how to read. "All Summer in a Day" broke my heart. I carried that one around in my heart for years.
Some of these posts brought tears to my eyes, they are so poignant and remind me so much of my younger days reading these wonderful stories. The way you all write about your respect and appreciation for this great author and man moved me so much. I grew up in the sixties, during the time when Americans were just starting to go into space, when John Glenn orbited the earth, when Kennedy declared that man would be on the moon before the end of the decade. These were miracles. When Apollo 11 landed and Armstrong set foot on the moon - finally! - my parents let me and brother stay up late and watch the broadcast on TV and we had tapioca pudding and laid on pillows on the living room floor. I'll never forget it. It was an incredible time to live through and all during it, my beloved science fiction books illustrated the great possibilities that I felt were just beginning. It was like everything I was reading was just about to come true. It was unbelievable.
It seems like there are a lot of young people here, more power to you! Discovering Bradbury and the other great authors will open doors to you that you never imagined existed. You will gain a perspective and a literary tradition and understanding of history, culture and civilization and a wonderful feeling of the possibilties of our species, that your peers who haven't read these great authors will never have. Your time reading Bradbury and other great authors will never be wasted.
Glad to be here! Hugs, Amy
Posts: 1 | Location: Albuquerque, NM, US | Registered: 05 July 2003
Whatever the first story in S is for Space -- I was eleven when I blindly ordered it from a school book form and after that I couldn't get enough Bradbury on into my last years of college. Finally I reached the point where I just kept looking for anything new by him.
Oddly enough, I still have those Bradbury books (I'm a notorious packrat) and re-reading those is what brought me to this list.
Posts: 4 | Location: Louisville, KY USA | Registered: 01 July 2003
It was VERY long ago, but my first must have been Fahrenheit 451. My friends and I would read that, 1984, and Brave New World and argue about who would turn out right. I soon discovered Dandelion Wine, Martian Chronicles and Illustrated Man, and I couldn't stop. I bought everything I could find by Bradbury. Now I buy them for my son, but I read them before I pass them on to him.
I think I started at 8 yrs of age reading Bradbury. I can't recall which story it was but in one of our texts or one of the books on the teacher's shelf was a book that had the story "All summer in a day" and I instantly fell in love with the story.
That's another story I love to quote when the rains never end... which is rare where I am.
Posts: 9 | Location: Texas | Registered: 27 August 2003
Not to change the topic so much but... If you like Ray Bradbury, you might like Zenna Henderson. She has a very similar writing style... it's unfortunate she only wrote maybe a 5th of the stories that Ray Bradbury wrote and her books aren't as easily found. I'm lucky to own all her People stories and shortstory collections... but I always found her to be very similar to RB in many ways.
Posts: 9 | Location: Texas | Registered: 27 August 2003