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NASA’s working on plans to send astronauts to Mars. But Ray Bradbury has already taken us there. The author published “The Martian Chronicles” in 1950 — stories of the Martians’ futile resistance to human colonists — and how humans became the Martians.
Bradbury was born 100 years ago today, in Waukegan, Illinois. He read the works of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and others. And when his family moved to California, in 1934, he set up camp in the UCLA library. He couldn’t afford to go to college, so he educated himself at the library. He also joined a local science-fiction group that included some of the top writers in the field.
Bradbury published his first paid story in 1941. And over the next five decades, he published hundreds of works in many genres. His stories were among the most literary of all sci-fi and fantasy. The list included such famous works as “Fahrenheit 451,” about dictatorship and censorship, and “The Illustrated Man.”
Bradbury’s works were adapted for radio, and he wrote screenplays for movies and TV shows. He also headed a theater group.
Shortly after Bradbury died, in 2012, NASA named the landing site of the Curiosity Mars rover in his honor: Bradbury Landing — a spot on a world that Bradbury had “seen” long before any craft ever visited there.
Script by Damond Benningfield