Science in Film

Introduction to Ray Bradbury

introduction to ray bradbur screen

Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22,1920. He had a good childhood, supported and loved by his extended family. Waukegan would supply the inspiration for many of Bradbury’s writings, where it was fictionalized as “Green Town”.

 

Beginnings

beginnings

Also at 14, Bradbury received his first pay as a writer when comedian, actor and radio personality George Burns employed him to work for hisBurns and Allen Show. Science fiction was also one of his earliest interests. When he was 16, Bradbury joined the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, fueling his passion to write for the genre.

Bradbury’s first work that garnered him recognition was his short story “Homecoming,” which was eventually published by the magazineMademoiselle. It was an editorial assistant named Truman Capote who helped publish Bradbury’s piece. In 1947, “Homecoming” won a citation from The O. Henry Prize Stories.

But fate had other plans for him, and he instead turned to writing. His earliest literary influences were Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and John Carter. He also drew inspiration from reading comic books. As he grew older, he became inspired by the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley and Thomas Wolfe.

Also at 14, Bradbury received his first pay as a writer when comedian, actor and radio personality George Burns employed him to work for hisBurns and Allen Show. Science fiction was also one of his earliest interests. When he was 16, Bradbury joined the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, fueling his passion to write for the genre.

Bradbury’s first work that garnered him recognition was his short story “Homecoming,” which was eventually published by the magazineMademoiselle. It was an editorial assistant named Truman Capote who helped publish Bradbury’s piece. In 1947, “Homecoming” won a citation from The O. Henry Prize Stories.

But Bradbury’s first paid work occurred much earlier. His first paid work was another short story entitled “Pendulum,” in 1941. His first story “The Lake” was also sold. By the following year, Bradbury had become a full-time writer. In 1947, he published a collection of short stories entitled Dark Carnival.

Well-Known Works

Bradbury is renowned for works such as Fahrenheit 451 (which was also adapted in to a 1966 film by Francois Truffaut), The Martian Chronicles (a collection of short stories about the colonization of Mars by humans who leave the devastated Earth) and Something Wicked This Way Comes, a part science fiction/fantasy/horror novel.

Aside from his fiction writings, Bradbury wrote plays and scripts for the stage, film and TV. He also wrote essays that centered around the arts and culture. He played host to The Ray Bradbury Theater, a television series which was based on his works.

Among the many awards and recognitions Bradbury had been honored with are the Prometheus Award (for Fahrenheit 451), an Emmy for his screenplay work in the TV film “The Halloween Tree,” a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a medal for “Distinguished Contribution to American Letters” from the National Book Foundation.

Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury, c. 1975

There are also a handful of significant places named after him, here on earth and even outside this planet — including the Ray Bradbury Park in his birthplace of Waukegan, Illinois, as well as a landing site on Mars found by NASA’s rover Curiosity. An asteroid, discovered in 1992, was also named in his honor.

Bradbury died on June 5, 2012, aged 91. His legacy and influence in the world of science fiction literature will always be remembered and followed by future generations of fans and aspiring scifi writers.

Useful Ray Bradbury links

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