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Ray Bradbury dies at age 91

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Sad news. Bradbury was one of my earliest escapes into speculative literature. He set the standard for for me and for many at a time when most of fantasy and science fiction was still published as pulp fiction and was still centered around bug-eyed monsters. Bradbury's Mars was one of those places I always longed to visit.


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Oh man, Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked are some of my favorites. Guess I should give those a re-read in honor of the man himself, but my reading backlog is so long right now...

Our middle school English department always opens the school year with Ray Bradbury short stories:

Drummer Boy of Shiloh for 8th grade (A 14 year old protagonist in a terrifying situation - great for Socratic discussions about duty, courage, and facing ones fears).

There Will Come Soft Rains for 7th grade (Introduces post-apocalyptic sci-fi and lets them know the darker, more serious turn the curriculum takes in 7th grade, as well as being a big attention-grabber with discussions of atomic bombs).

All Summer in a Day for 6th grade (Hard Sci-Fi - a genre most of the kids aren't familiar with - but with themes of feeling bullied and outcast that lends itself well to roleplaying).

The Sound of Summer Running for 5th grade (Realistic, relatable fiction about summer vaction - good opener for personal connection journaling).

...Can you tell that I had a hand in designing this curriculum? Haha.

Thanks, Bradbury. You make the first week of school very entertaining. Easilly tied with Oct-POE-ber for my favorite time of the school year.

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Ray Bradbury wrote, wrote, wrote. He was a poet in his prose. He always had something original.

Though I've read many of his short stories and I love science fiction, I haven't read a fraction of what he's written.

One of his Martian short stories has the line, something like, "[ _____ ] skinned and golden eyed they were." (I'd have to reread, I think it was brown.) -- We learn the "Martians" there are descendants from Earth.

Another has dinosaurs turning up in Greentown.

They don't make many like him. He'll be missed. What an amazing man.

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"And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on."

-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

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  • 5 months later...

A Lost Ray Bradbury Story, Rediscovered

'Perfect in time for the holiday season, the latest (November 20th, 212) issue of The Strand Magazine has published a lost story from the late Ray Bradbury, titled "Dear Santa." This tale, about a young man who wants to remain 12 years old forever, plays on many of the familiar themes that made Bradbury such a beloved and celebrated author. It's a perfect SF treat for this time of year, brought to you by one of the all-time greats.'

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