NPR Marks the Centennial of Ray Bradbury’s Birth

Authors Marjorie Liu and Mary Robinette Kowal spell out the eternal messages in Ray Bradbury’s stories and discuss his influence on their own writing with Petra Mayer on Morning Edition. For Liu, who recently completed a reading for the Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon of Fahrenheit 451, now streaming online, the genius of his science fiction is that it captures what it means to be human, no matter the time or space.

Mary Robinette Kowal believes Bradbury’s brilliance comes from an ability to make the stories that draw on his small town childhood reveal the truth about a larger world. “He’s writing his own very specific experience. But I think sometimes the more specific you are, the more universal themes can come out of something,” Kowal notes.  The authors diverge on the most essential Bradbury, however. Kowal recommends  the classic story of book burning and authoritarianism,  Fahrenheit 451, while Liu prefers Something Wicked This Way Comes, a tale about how the love of a young boy destroys a carnival of evil threatening his town and family.

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University of South Carolina acquires extensive Bradbury collection from author’s long-time friend, Anne Farr Hardin

Ray Bradbury had a knack for making friends with people who, like himself, pursued their passions with enthusiasm. In honor of Ray Bradbury’s 100th birthday, Dr. Anne Farr Hardin, the author’s longtime friend and an avid Bradbury collector, has gifted the University of South Carolina Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections with her extraordinary collection of Bradbury books, fanzines, magazines, personal correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia. Many items were presents from Bradbury, while others are rare items that Hardin, a fan as well as a friend, picked up during trips and conferences, or located in unexpected places across the country. As Hardin explained in interviews with Michael Weisenburg at the Irvin Department of Rare Books & Special Collections, she was on a mission to tell the story of Bradbury’s development as a writer by locating the pieces he published in fanzines, pulps, and slick magazines; writings often ignored or thought lost to history–until now.

A virtual exhibit, Ray Bradbury Now and Forever: The Anne Farr Hardin Collection, showcases selections from this extraordinary acquisition until physical exhibitions resume. The Anne Farr Hardin Collection is also accessible to visiting researchers by appointment with the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

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KCRW Radio remembers Bradbury’s influence on the Los Angeles community

Ray Bradbury moved to Los Angeles when he was 14, and although he is most often remembered for his expansive body of literary work, his desire to recreate the best aspects of small town life on a grander scale, detailed in a 1970 LA Times article, left an indelible mark on Los Angeles’  architecture and  urban development. In this episode of public radio station KCRW‘s Greater LA, host Steve Chiotakis commemorates the 100th birthday of the famous Angeleno with colleagues Frances Anderton of  the weekly broadcast DnA: Design and Architecture, and KCRW host and librarian Eric Lawrence.

Atherton’s stories of Bradbury’s collaboration with noted architect Jon Jerde and other developers in Hollywood reveal how Bradbury made some of his visions for a better future a reality.


Historian Ty Rohrer to speak on Ray Bradbury and his Waukegan influences

Interested in what influenced a young Ray Bradbury? Join historian Ty Rohrer on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm CDT for a virtual presentation hosted by the Woodbridge Public Library.  Rohrer, director of the Waukegan History Museum in Bradbury’s hometown, will illustrate this free Zoom lecture with photographs selected from the Historical Society’s rich collection. The event is free, but registration is required.

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Zócalo Public Square, Fowler Museum at UCLA, & ZYZZYVA host discussion: “Are We Living in a World Ray Bradbury Tried to Prevent?”

Ray Bradbury never lost the abiding curiosity about humanity’s future on earth and in space that began when he was a child reading Flash Gordon comics and the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs. On August 27, Zócalo Public Square, Fowler Museum at UCLA, and ZYZZYVA will bring together author Lilliam Rivera, Arizona State University Center for Science and the Imagination professor Michael Bennett,  and Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University for a virtual discussion. The panel will discuss the lessons Bradbury’s work offers about a present that has surprising and sometimes sobering similarities to the futures he imagined in his fiction. Oscar Villalon, managing editor at ZYZZYVA, moderates.  ZYZZYVA will be publishing  “The Pedestrian,” the 1951 short story inspired by the same late night encounter with police that grew into Fahrenheit 451, in their fall issue.


Celebrate Bradbury’s 100th birthday by watching the Fahrenheit 451 Read‑A‑Thon

The Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon of Fahrenheit 451 premiers Saturday, August 22 at 4:30pm EDT, on what would have been Bradbury’s 100th birthday. Celebrate with people across the world as you watch librarians, authors,  actors, and students read the story that has captured the imagination of generations who find a timeless message in this cautionary and uplifting tale from one of the most celebrated storytellers of our time.

Bookended by the opening and closing readings from Neil Gaiman and William Shatner, the special includes commentary by Ann Druyan, director and co-author of Cosmos, an afterword by Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book, and a special appearance and reading by former NASA astronaut and administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr.

Available to stream from 4:30pm EDT, August 22 until midnight, September 5, 2020.

John Scalzi writes about meeting the “wizard” Ray Bradbury

John Scalzi, science fiction author and former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, offers his remembrance of how Bradbury’s stories and his magical use of language  helped him understand what it was to be a writer or, as his twelve year old self saw it, a wizard of words. In honor of what would have been Bradbury’s 100th birthday, Scalzi celebrates Bradbury’s power to awaken the emotions with words that “have weight and rhythm and pace and form.”

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Rolling Stone promotes Fahrenheit 451 Read-A-Thon with William Shatner, Neil Gaiman, Susan Orlean and Others

Rolling Stone recommends tuning in to the Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon on Saturday, August 22 at 4:30pm EDT to watch a diverse group of people–from Neil Gaiman, William Shatner, Marjorie Liu and Susan Orlean, to your local librarian or high school student–read the entirety of Ray Bradbury’s beloved Fahrenheit 451. Reporter Daniel Kreps notes that reading Fahrenheit 451, a story about the importance of books, is an especially appropriate way to celebrate what would have been Bradbury’s 100th birthday. Bradbury felt libraries had been a gift to him throughout his life, saying, “I’m completely library-educated. Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life.”

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“Ray Bradbury, A Master of Science Fiction” on BBC Radio’s The Forum

The Forum, BBC’s flagship radio program of discussion and commentary, celebrates the centenary of Ray Bradbury’s birth with the program “Ray Bradbury, a Master of Science Fiction.” Award winning broadcaster and writer Rajan Datar moderates a thoughtful and informed exploration of Bradbury’s varied and voluminous body of work with a panel of Bradbury scholars: Jonathan Eller, Chancellor’s Professor of English and Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University; Miranda Corcoran, specialist in science fiction and the gothic at University College Cork; and Phil Nichols, who focuses on Bradbury, media, and film production at Wolverhampton University. You can listen to the program by clicking on the “Listen” button below.