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Thread: R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mapguy View Post
    I was just thinking about Mr. Bradbury yesterday, during the Venus transit. The next one won't happen for over 100 years, so it was frustrating for me (and as I understand it, many others around the world) to be unable to directly observe because of cloudy skies. It reminded me of his short story "All Summer in a Day", in which humans have colonized Venus, where it's continually cloudy and raining... except once every seven years, the sun comes out for just one hour. A little girl misses it because her cruel classmates have locked her in a closet.
    Look up the story of Guillaume Le Gentil and the 1760's transits. It makes the Bradbury story sound like Pollyanna by comparison.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Here is one for Musk. F(orget) sterilization protocol. If your capsule finds it's way to Mars--a lock of his hair--a copy of his book
    Already there on the Phoenix DVD:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix...29#Phoenix_DVD

    Attached to the deck of the lander (next to the US flag) is the "Phoenix DVD",[112] compiled by the Planetary Society. The disc contains Visions of Mars,[113] a multimedia collection of literature and art about the Red Planet. Works include the text of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds (and the radio broadcast by Orson Welles), Percival Lowell's Mars as the Abode of Life with a map of his proposed canals, Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, and Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Mars. There are also messages directly addressed to future Martian visitors or settlers from, among others, Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke. [...]

    The Phoenix DVD is made of a special silica glass[112] designed to withstand the Martian environment, lasting for hundreds (if not thousands) of years on the surface while it awaits discoverers.

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  3. #33
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    Here's the story list on the DVD:

    http://web.archive.org/web/200805280..._contents.html


    I'm happy to see Poul Anderson on the list too, a little sad Heinlein doesn't seem to be included.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  4. #34
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    Ray Bradbury made me want to write again. I have nothing but endless respect for him and other visionaries and inspirational authors.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Look up the story of Guillaume Le Gentil and the 1760's transits. It makes the Bradbury story sound like Pollyanna by comparison.
    That's a sad story. Can you explain something to me, though?

    [H]aving learned that war had broken out between France and Britain, and deeming it dangerous to try to reach Pondicherry, he determined to go elsewhere; a frigate was bound for India's Coromandel Coast, and he sailed in March 1761. When they had nearly arrived they learned that the British had occupied Pondicherry, so the frigate was obliged to return to Île de France.
    Why did the British occupation of Pondicherry force a diversion on a voyage that was explicitly chosen in order to avoid Pondicherry?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    That's a sad story. Can you explain something to me, though?


    Why did the British occupation of Pondicherry force a diversion on a voyage that was explicitly chosen in order to avoid Pondicherry?
    I think something got messed up somewhere in the editing. I did some research and fixed up that paragraph.

    He set out from Paris in March 1760, and reached Île de France (Mauritius) in July. However, war had broken out between France and Britain in the meantime, hindering further passage east. He finally managed to gain passage on a frigate that was bound for India's Coromandel Coast, and he sailed in March 1761 with the intention of observing the transit from the island of Pondicherry. Even though the transit was only a few months away, on June 6, he was assured that they would make it in time. The ship was blown off-course by unfavorable winds and spent five weeks at sea. By the time it finally got close to Pondicherry, the captain learned that the British had occupied it, so the frigate was obliged to return to Île de France. June 6, the day of the transit, came, and the sky was clear, but he could not take astronomical observations with the vessel rolling about. After having come this far, he thought he might as well await the next transit of Venus, which would come in another eight years (they are relatively infrequent, occurring in pairs 8 years apart, but each such pair is separated from the previous and next pairs by more than a century.)
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  7. #37
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    Just read an obit and it said he did not take science seriously and did not like those who did. Fascinating that in his inspiring stories he took no bother about putting air on Mars and so on. He just made things up. I remember those Mars stories from teenage and they are science fiction even if the science was obviously wrong! Must read a few again.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Just read an obit and it said he did not take science seriously and did not like those who did. Fascinating that in his inspiring stories he took no bother about putting air on Mars and so on. He just made things up. I remember those Mars stories from teenage and they are science fiction even if the science was obviously wrong! Must read a few again.
    In my early teens, when I first discovered astronomy and real SF, I held back for a long time from reading Bradbury because I was aware of his attitude. At the time, Viking was on Mars, and I wanted stories about a Mars that was likely to exist. I was even reluctant to read the likes of Wells' The First Men In The Moon because the science that had seemed plausible-ish at the time was no longer so, but I got over that much quicker than I got over the idea of an author ignoring scientific findings.

    Eventually I ended up reading - and loving - his books in part because of the aspects that had been a problem before. I've felt "negative attraction" many times since then.

    Incidentally, there is a scene in The Martian Chronicles where Bradbury makes a token attempt at addressing the atmosphere issue by having a chap plant loads of trees. (I hadn't heard about Johnny Appleseed at the time, and didn't until many years later.)

    Hmm, maybe I'll download some Bradbury onto my kindle.

  9. #39
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    Viking's Mars was not his Mars, nor was it Barsoom. His Mars is but a section of Kuranes dreamlands. His life ended when Perelandra blocked out his Sun from us. Fitting to mark his passing during the transit.

  10. #40
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    The Veldt was/is one of my favourite short stories and as a teenager of the early 80's There Will Come Soft Rains seemed like a prophecy.

    ETA. I just remembered, the shadows on the wall in "There will come ..." - I have visited Hiroshima and the museum at Peace Park. There are bits of metal with shadows burnt into them, maybe that's why I had to go. I tried to go to White Sands too but to visit the "Alpha" site means being there at a certain part of the year.

    Nuclear weaponry hasn't been the force that we all seemed to expect (thank deity). ((yet !))
    Last edited by headrush; 2012-Jul-14 at 10:34 PM. Reason: ETA

  11. #41
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    I loved that bit of art showing Azimov ona throne. Ray deserves something similar--but more laid back. Perhaps an American Gothic type farmhouse on Mars with him on the front porch whittling characters.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    Nuclear weaponry hasn't been the force that we all seemed to expect (thank deity). ((yet !))
    Unless you consider them the force that kept the cold war cold.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by headrush
    Nuclear weaponry hasn't been the force that we all seemed to expect (thank deity). ((yet !))
    Unless you consider them the force that kept the cold war cold.
    That can be said now, but at the time it didn't feel that way, that's why I said "seemed".

    The impact (for me) of reading Bradbury's story was one of reinforcing the impression that all this was going to happen. Historically, events appeared to lead down that timeline if you will. I had read the story before I became aware of the nature of the arms race, so when the situation appeared to heat up towards the end of the '70s with government warnings, constant exposure to news reports of arguments between the superpowers and the infamous "Protect and Survive" films being released, it all looked a bit imminent.

    Of course I was only about 13 or 14 in 1980 and didn't know any better so was heavily influenced by the media.

    But after all that, it's only a story and I'm not sure if anyone who didn't live through that era would appreciate it in quite the same way.

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