On August 22nd, 1920, one of the greatest names in science fiction writing was born. Ray Bradbury spent his early childhood in the small town of Waukegan, Illinois and moved to Los Angeles, California when he turned fourteen. Life in Los Angeles led to a fascination with television and radio, and he would later write and perform in sci-fi shows such as “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Bradbury is perhaps best known for his dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451, which has become a staple in high school reading across the country. Sadly, Ray Bradbury passed away on June 5th of this year, but his legacy will continue to inspire writers and readers for generations. Learn more about Ray Bradbury’s life and literary contributions through our Biography Databases, or check out the selection of Bradbury related titles below.
Journalist Sam Weller is an avid fan of Ray Bradbury and conducted many interviews with him over the years. Using his interviews, as well as Bradbury’s own letters and photos, Weller compiled one of the most comprehensive biographies of Bradbury yet. Bradbury himself is quoted on the front cover: “This is my life! It’s as if somehow Sam Weller slipped into my skin and my head and my heart -it’s all here.” High praise indeed.
If you haven’t yet read Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451, I encourage you to check it out now. His chilling vision of a future in which books are burned to prevent free-thinking, continues to inspire discussion today and will continue to remain relevant for many years to come. If you have already encountered Fahrenheit 451, you may be interested in perusing A Pleasure to Burn, a compilation of short stories that led to the development of Bradbury’s most well-known novel.
This is my personal favorite Bradbury novella and although I haven’t read it in years, it still makes me shudder when I remember it. The illustrated man is a stranger with tattoos upon the entirety of his body. The man tells the unnamed narrator that the tattoos were placed upon him by a woman from the future, and that the tattoos come alive at night and tell him their stories. Each chapter recounts a different tattoo and a different strange and terrifying tale.
In this compilation, some of today’s best-selling authors pay homage to the man who inspired them and the incredible worlds that he created. Neil Gaiman’s story The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury explores the relationship between readers and authors. Dave Eggers’ Who Knocks? is a short, but disturbing story, reminiscent of old campfire tales. Bradbury himself opens the collection with a beautiful letter welcoming the collection of authors into his literary family, and inviting readers to take a peek at their family reunion.
If you are inspired by Ray Bradbury’s works, you may want to check out his advice in this humorous book. The pages are filled with Bradbury's own experience, tips, and encouragement, giving you insight into the mind of a literary genius.