Published on July 12th, 2017 | by William Thoral0
Ray Bradbury, The Master of Fantasy
Raymond Douglas Bradbury, better known as Ray Bradbury, was born on August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. Son of Esther Marie Moberg and Leonard Spaulding Bradbury. He is a descendant of one of the famous witches of Salem, on his father’s side.
Could this have influenced his career? It’s possible, because in 1937, at just 17 years of age, he published his first science-fiction novel entitled Script.
After graduating from Los Angeles, he continued to write short stories for specialized magazines, before becoming a full time writer at the end of 1942.
It wasn’t until 1947 that his first novel, Dark Carnival, was released. That same year he married his wife Marguerite MacClure, and had four children from this marriage.
The 50’s will be synonymous with success for the young writer. The general public gets to see his first collection of fantasy novels being published in 1950. These publishings are called the Martian Chronicles.
During this highly profitable decade Ray Bradbury refuses to stop. Besides adapting his short stories for comic books, he also publishes The Illustrated Man, The Golden Apples of the Sun, The October Country. A Medicine for Melancholy, and above all else, the remarkable Fahrenheit 451.
This dystopia depicts an obscure society, where reading, which in every society prompts questioning and reflection, is considered an antisocial and dangerous act.
A special unit of firefighters are responsible for burning all books at a temperature of 451 degrees Fahrenheit, the same temperature that paper spontaneously combusts at. Guy Montag dreams of a different world, a world that doesn’t banish literature and imagination in favor of happiness derived from instant gratification. He then becomes a dangerous criminal, mercilessly pursued by a society that renounced his past as one of the pyromaniac firefighters.
The success of this novel allowed him the opportunity to have it adapted to film in 1966 by the French filmmaker François Truffaut.
Bradbury came into the theater world as well, as he directed his first play entitled Café Irlandais, in 1963, followed by several others throughout that decade.
It wasn’t until 1986 that he finally picked up the pen again in order to edit several new novels. Bradbury had a stroke in 1999. However, with the help of his daughter, whom he dedicated his writings to, he was able to expand upon his work. Ray Bradbury died on June 5, 2012, in Los Angeles, at the age of 91.
Immortalized by a star on Hollywood’s legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America award was also named after him in honor of his work. This award is given out to recognize excellence in cinema, television, internet, radio, and theater.
While he considered himself an author of fantasy not focused on a genre, Ray Bradbury will have forever made his mark on fantasy fiction.
This article was translated in English by John Wilmot.