Just before the summer holidays, as we were all busy with final exams, legendary science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91. Author or 27 novels and more than 600 short stories, he was one of the most popular writers in the world. Many of his works have been adapted into television shows or films, including Farenheit 451 by François Truffaut in 1966, and The Martian Chronicles, a collection of short stories - both available in our library. Among many other awards, Bradbury received the National Medal of Arts, presented by President George W Bush, and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and this year's landing site of NASA's Mars Rover was named Bradbury's Landing.
The Martian Chronicles is about the colonisation of Mars by humans escaping a devastated Earth, and the conflict between aboriginal Martians and the colonists. First published in 1950, it is curious to see how the future - now - was imagined more than half a century ago. As an example, see this prune advertisement featuring Mr Bradbury. You can read a short excerpt here.
Farenheit 451 presents a future USA where books are outlawed and firemen burn any house that contains them. Read this short article describing the circumstances in which it was written - on a rented typewriter at a public library. Also, here's the film trailer.