World – Bradbury

Bradbury (World 11)

Ray Bradbury (1920 – 2012; first SF publication, 1938), despite his claim to the contrary, was an amazing author of science fiction. (He held that science fiction should be based on reality, and of his works, only Fahrenheit 451, depicting a future in which all books are banned, met that criterion. The others, including The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine, were fantasies, because they weren’t possible in the real world.) The Martian Chronicles is definitely out of this world, describing the sporadic colonization of Mars by Humans, and their encounters with the native Martians. The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked and (especially) Dandelion Wine are rooted in Heartland America, which distinguishes Bradbury’s writing from most of the other authors on this list.

Fireproof Paper

Fahrenheit 451 is (approximately) the temperature at which paper auto-ignites, and Guy Montag is a “fireman” responsible for burning any book that he finds (and sometimes the entire house around it, as well). Montag gradually realizes the loss to society and finds a small group of people who are each memorizing a written work, for when books will once more be allowed. In their company, Montag undertakes to memorize the Bible book of Ecclesiastes. I suppose you could say these memorizers metaphorically mirror the Fireproof Paper that Bradbury exports in our galaxy.


 The Worlds of “What If …?”
 Shelley (61)  Piper (21)  Cherryh (41)
 Verne (62)  Norton (22)  Gibson (42)
 Wells (63)  Dick (23)  Clayton (43)
 Williamson (64)  Silverberg (24)  Card (44)
 de Camp (65)  Biggle (25)  Hogan (45)
 Laumer (66)  Wilhelm (26)  Longyear (46)
 Bradbury (11)  Le Guin (31)  Brin (51)
 Heinlein (12)  Niven (32)  McDevitt (52)
 Pohl (13)  Killough (33)  Moon (53)
 Knight (14)  Foster (34)  Bujold (54)
 Schmitz (15)  Pinkwater (35)  Roberts (55)
 Anderson (16)  Robinson (36)  Asaro (56)