Bradbury, Ray

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Bradbury, Ray

Ray Bradbury (brăd´bĕr´ē, –bərē), 1920–2012, American writer, b. Waukegan, Ill. A popular and prolific writer of science fiction who did much to bring the genre into the mainstream of literature, Bradbury skillfully combined social and technological criticism with lyrical fantasy. His first book was the short-story collection Dark Carnival (1947). Bradbury's best-known work is probably The Martian Chronicles (1950), a collection of tales of a series of expeditions to Mars and of the ruin of Martian civilization by greedy and corrupt earthlings; it was made into a film (1966) and a TV miniseries (1980). His other volumes of stories include The Illustrated Man (1951), The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953), The Last Circus and the Executioner (1980), The Toynbee Convector (1988), Quicker than the Eye (1996), and Driving Blind (1997). Among his novels are his most successful longer work, the dystopian Fahrenheit 451 (1953, film dir. by François Truffaut, 1966), the autobiographical Dandelion Wine (1957), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962, film 1983), The Halloween Tree (1972), and A Graveyard for Lunatics (1990). Bradbury also wrote scripts for plays, films, and television; a detective novel; children's stories; and poetry. During his lifetime, more than eight million copies of his books were sold, and his works were translated into 36 languages.

See his Zen in the Art of Writing (1990); biographies by W. L. Johnson (1980), D. Mogen (1986), S. Weller (2005), and J. R. Eller (2011); studies by G. E. Slusser (1977), W. F. Touponce (1989 and 1998), J. Anderson (1990), R. A. Reid (2000), H. Bloom, ed. (2001, repr. 2010).

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