Thursday, June 07, 2012

that's celsius 232.78 in new money

A quick post to commemorate the death of Ray Bradbury, who died a couple of days ago aged 91. I have to confess Bradbury falls into that category of people entitled People You Are Surprised To Find Are Still Alive, or rather a closely related category entitled People You Are Surprised To Find Were Still Alive Until Very Recently On Reading Their Obituary. Listening to the Today programme this morning reminded me that another member of the first category is Bradbury's fellow science-fiction author Brian Aldiss, not much younger than Bradbury at 86, who they wheeled out for a few complimentary reminiscences.

As it happens I've read a great deal more of Aldiss' work than I have of Bradbury's - all I've read of Bradbury's work are various short stories (the medium in which he mostly worked) including those in my ancient Penguin paperback collection The Day It Rained Forever, and the classic novel Fahrenheit 451, which everyone who aspires to being a fully rounded human being should read. In many ways Fahrenheit 451 occupies the same sort of niche in Bradbury's output as The Man In The High Castle occupies in Philip K. Dick's, i.e. a slightly uncharacteristic downbeat dystopian political satire among all the wild fantastical stuff in the other books, though it must be said on comparing the two that it's (entirely typically of both men) a great deal clearer what Bradbury was on about.

Fahrenheit 451 was filmed in 1966 starring the lovely Julie Christie among others - I've never seen that one, but I do have a bit of a soft spot for the 1969 Rod Steiger film The Illustrated Man, based on a couple of Bradbury short stories from the collection of the same name.

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