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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ray Bradbury

When in high school, I was barred from taking a science fiction class because my parents felt that science fiction wasn't "real" literature. If they were making that judgment based on the pulp novels that were churned out by early science fiction writers, then they'd have a point.

However, during my life I've gained a healthy respect for science fiction writers. There's Isaac Asimov who wrote a book for every category of the Dewey Decimal system. There's George Orwell who was as much a political scientist as a science fiction writer. There are too numerous authors to count who explored important ideas through speculative fiction.

One of those writers who has made a continual impact on the way our society thinks is Ray Bradbury. Here is a man with no formal schooling beyond high school who has gone on to become a Science Fiction of America Grand Master and in 2004, win a National Medal of the Arts.

His Fahrenheit 451 made us think long and hard about censorship and what it might look like in the extreme. He forced us to question what moral courage looks like.

Yesterday, we added a review of a collection of his short stories at BookHelpWeb, a review by one of our newest contributors. The Stories of Ray Bradbury contains 100 works of this genius and the review gives some of the highlights.

Writers like Ray Bradbury proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that science fiction deserves to be classified as real literature.


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