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R is for Rocket

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R is for Rocket

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Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Doubleday, 1962

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Book Type: Collection
Genre: Science-Fiction
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(41 reads / 19 ratings)


Michael Marshall Smith: You don't just mutter "Yeah, I read Bradbury as a kid" in the same offhand way you say "I played football on most Wednesday afternoons". Bradbury is a formative experience. Bradbury was news. He isn't a writer to be referenced with cool appraisal and judicious appreciation, but someone you absorbed, a teller of stories which seeped into your pores until they coated the inside of your bones. Bradbury is the first time you see a tiger, or first sense that girls are some day going to become extremely interesting. Bradbury is ice cream. Some of the things Ray Bradbury does... ...He takes you right back. "A Sound of Thunder", the classic time-travel anomaly story -- you know, the one with the butterfly -- took me right back to reading it as a kid. Others I never read as a kid, took me right back to a childhood I never had, a gentle American childhood, rooted in a future that is really the past, the past's future. ...He undermines you relentlessly. The gentle, idyllic mood cast by his prose, by his scenes of domestic harmony, is a screen, waiting for the true horror to reveal itself: family picnics on Mars while Earth destroys itself in nuclear war, children's games that hide something sinister, the boy whose role it is to make childless families complete. ...He extrapolates along with the best: a future where to stand out from the zombie-like masses is a warning sign; an extraordinary alien world of extreme hot and cold where everything is accelerated, compressed, intensified. ...He constructs sentences, paragraphs, scenes, entire stories, where not a word is out of place, where the gentle poetry of the language is a potent weapon. In an odd kind of way, these stories put me in mind of Philip K Dick: don't let the graceful charm of his words fool you -- this man is out to unsettle you, to disturb you, to undermine you.


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