Thinking of Ray Bradbury
Posted by World Weaver Press
The speculative fiction writer Ray Bradbury passed away on June 5, 2012. Here, World Weaver Press authors have taken a moment to reflect on Bradbury and his work.
Rebecca Roland: When I think of Ray Bradbury, I think of a man who carried the best parts of childhood throughout his life. So many times people leave that spark of joy and passion behind when they become adults, but not Mr. Bradbury. This showed in his enthusiasm for life, for writing, and for mentoring writers. In a speech in 2009 he said, “Do what you love and love what you do. If someone tells you to do something for money, tell them to go to hell.” His passion was infectious. I never had a chance to meet him, but he will be missed greatly.
Susan Abel Sullivan: One of my favorite short stories as a kid was Ray Bradbury’s “Subterfuge.” The story was originally published in 1943, but I first read it in the early 70s in a collection titled Eight Strange Tales which included seven other horror tales from the pulp era.
In “Subterfuge” aliens are set to invade Earth and humans are powerless to stop them. Scientists and government leaders wrack their brains to come up with a counter measure, but the clock is ticking. In the end (and I’m recalling this from memory), it seems like everyone but a handful of selected people is cryogenically frozen. The aliens invade, but find to their disappointment that Earth has been de-populated. The few remaining people watch these proceedings hidden in plain view. Then the kicker, and this is what made this story a favorite for me, is that the eight remaining humans have had their brains transplanted into dogs. The aliens have no interest in mere dogs. Once the supremely disenchanted aliens leave Earth, these super dogs plan to unfreeze the rest of the population. This plot twist has stayed with me all these years while hundreds of other stories have been read and forgotten with time.
As a writer, the one piece of advice that I am grateful to Bradbury for is to finish a piece and then move on to the next project rather than endlessly revising your work-in-progress. A good writer will find flaws in their earlier work. He recommended writing new and better stories rather than kicking yourself for having been a newbie. Alas, I came to this advice a bit late and spun my wheels for way too many years on my trunk novel. In the closet it still sits, a Frankenstein monster of a manuscript stitched together from varying degrees of revision. Part I received the most revisions because I’d start over and over and over again, trying to get the perfect book. Part IV never made it past the discovery draft. Eventually, I had to abandon it. I now resist the urge to nitpick and tinker once a piece is done thanks to Ray Bradbury.
More remembrances of Bradbury:
- Weird Tales Magazine
- Black Gate Magazine
- Guy Haley
- Jason S. Ridler
- Tor.com features both a remembrance and a gallery of artwork inspired by Bradbury
- Abyss & Apex has temporarily unsealed from their archives the story “The Winter Astronaut” a Bradbury homage
- Why one programmer wants there to be an HTTP status code 451
How has Ray Bradbury influenced you?
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Posted on June 25, 2012, in from the authors of WWP, World Weaver Press and tagged book news, books, fantasy, horror tales, inspiration, literature, ray bradbury, reading, Rebecca Roland, science fiction, speculative fiction, speculative fiction writer, strange tales, Susan Abel Sullivan, World Weaver Press, writing tip. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.