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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Memoriam: Ray Bradbury - Top 10

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012) was one of the greatest speculative fiction writers of the 20th Century. A major figure in the world of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mystery; many of his works have been adapted into comics, TV and film. He was a strong advocate of books and reading and influenced generations of readers, writers and filmmakers. Among his many awards and honors include a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The National Medal of Arts Award, World Fantasy Award and The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named the Ray Bradbury Award in his honor. While Bradbury was known for his famous and award winning novels, he was also a prolific short story writer as well as the writer of many plays, screenplays and children's books. In memoriam of his death, CHERNOBOG'S BLOG PRESENTS My Top 10 Favorite Works by Ray Bradbury...he will be missed.

#10 From the Dust Returned (2001) - A short-story collection of older stories featuring cover art by Charles Addams ("The Addams Family").
#9 Dandelion Wine (1957) - A collection of short-stories which take place in the Summer of 1928 in Green Town, Illinois reminiscent of Bradbury's hometown.
#8 Dinosaur Tales (1983) - A short-story collection about Dinosaurs. I shared the same love for Dinosaurs as Bradbury did as a boy and this was one of my first short-story collections I read.
#7 Dark Carnival (1947) - Bradbury's first short-story collection published by Arkham House (also responsible for re-publishing the works of H.P. Lovecraft)
#6 The Halloween Tree (1972) - A group of boys go out trick-or-treating which sets them off on a journey through time and space to rescue their friend. I read it every Halloween!
#5 The Illustrated Man (1951) - A collection of science-fiction short-stories that explores the nature of mankind revolving around a man's collection of tattoos.
#4 "There Will Come Soft Rains" (1950, also included in "The Martian Chronicles") - A short-story about a futuristic, fully automated, house which continues to operate despite the absence of the family, long dead, until it burns down.
#3 The Martian Chronicles (1950) - The classic science-fiction story collection chronicling the colonization of Mars by humans fleeing a doomed Earth.
#2 Fahrenheit 451 (1953) - Bradbury's classic dystopian novel of a futuristic American society where books are outlawed and burned. One of his most influential books which is both celebrated and banned in schools and libraries all over the world. Bradbury's admitted message in the book is not about censorship but about how TV destroys interest in reading literature.
#1 Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) - A sinister travelling circus comes to a small Midwestern town and terrorizes two young boys. This was the first novel of his I ever read, but I was first exposed to it from watching the 1983 live-action Disney movie adaptation with Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce, which scarred the hell outta me too!