Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2018

The Truth of Ray Bradbury’s Prophetic Vision / Michael Moorcock in: Lit Hub Daily May 18, 2018

In the late 1960s my friend J. G. Ballard phoned me full of outrage. Feeling weighed down by the bad prose cluttering his study, he had dug a pit in his back garden and thrown his review copies in, splashing them with a little petrol. But they proved harder to burn than he thought, so he put one in the kitchen oven, which had a suitable thermometer, to test the igniting heat of book paper. “Bradbury was wrong!” he complained. “Fahrenheit 451 isn’t the temperature at which book paper burns!” But, I asked, hadn’t Bradbury phoned the Los Angeles Fire Department to get the temperature right?
“Well, they’re wrong, too!” announced Ballard, who admired Bradbury and whose own early Vermilion Sands stories echo Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Ray Bradbury, he said, had shown him that science fiction was worth writing.
Ironically, Bradbury, like Ballard, was primarily a fantast. He wrote very little science fiction, even as he became a measure of how good the genre could be. He said so in a 1999 interview with the Weekly Wire: “I don’t write science fiction. I’ve only done one science fiction book and that’s Fahrenheit 451.
Illustration by Sam Weber
Ballard had come across Bradbury in Galaxy magazine where “The Fireman,” the original version of this book, appeared. By then Bradbury was beginning his mature career. As a boy, unable to find more books by my favorite fantast Edgar Rice Burroughs, I discovered Bradbury’s early fiction in second-hand copies of Planet Stories and Weird Tales, whosenstories were full of Gothic riffs and echoes of Edgar Allan Poe. ... [mehr]

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