Ray Bradbury Has Died

Locusmag notice here. His earlier work was better than his later, and his short stories were better than his novels – some of them (especially the ones where over-ripe sentimental Americana turns into horror) are unforgettable. I’ve always had a specific weakness for the handful of stories he set in Ireland (where he lived for a bit, while working on a John Huston film), even though they’re far from his best. His piece, “The Anthem Sprinters,” about Irish cinema-goers’ mad rush for the exits after the film had finished, so as to avoid having to stand for the obligatory rendition of the National Anthem, captures something that America could learn from (I was reminded of it last week during the Chris Hayes disrespectin’ Memorial Day nonsense-kerfuffle). But his Mars stories and one-offs like “The Small Assassin” and “There Will Come Soft Rains” are what I think he’ll be remembered for.

[Cross-posted at Crooked Timber]

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Henry Farrell

Henry Farrell is an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.