Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August

22,1920. He was the third born son of Leonard Spauldling Bradbury and

Esther Marie Moberg Bradbury. In the fall of 1926 the Bradbury family

moved from their home in Waukegan to Tucson, Arizona. However, their

stay there only lasted until May of 1927 when they moved back to their

original habitation. Bradbury began writing his own literature on butcher

paper when he was 11 years old. Ray and his family moved again moved to

Tucson, Arizona and back to Waukegan, Illinois again in 1932. This rapid

movement was initiated when Leonard Bradbury was laid off from his job

installing telephone lines, only to be rehired later in the year. In 1934 the

Bradbury family moved yet again, but this time to Los Angeles, California.


Ray attended high school in Los Angeles. He graduated in 1938,

finishing his formal school career. Bradbury decided that in order to further

his education, he would spend his days at his typewriter and his nights at the

library, reading. Since he needed a way to make some money to get by, Ray

took a job selling newspapers on Los Angeles street corners. His

first published story was “Hollerbocher’s Dilemma,” which was printed in

an amateur fan magazine in 1938. In 1939, Ray published four issues of

Futuria Fantasia, his own fan magazine, in which he contributed most of the

published material. Bradbury’s first paying gig, was “Pendulum,” which was

published in Super Science Stories in 1941. Finally in 1942 he discovered

his distinctive style of writing after writing “The Lake.” By 1943 he had

given up selling newspapers, and began a full-time job as a free lance write

for many periodicals. In 1945 the magazine Best American Short Stories,

selected Bradbury’s short story “The Big Black and White Game,” to appear

in an issue of the magazine. Bradbury’s most significant published works

up until the present include: Dark Carnival in 1947, The Martian Chronicles

in 1950, Fahrenheit 451 in 1953, and many short stories, screenplays, essays

and poems which are too numerous to name.

Ray Bradbury’s writing has been critically acclaimed and heralded as

some of the most influential media in the Science-Fiction genre. So far is his

lifetime Ray has received the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin

Franklin award in 1954, the Aviation-Space Writer’s Association Award for

best article in an American Magazine in 1967, the World Fantasy Award for

lifetime achievement, and the Grand Master Award from the Science-Fiction

Writers of America. Also his animated film about the history of flight,

Icarus Montgolfier Wright, was nominated for an Oscar, and his teleplay of

the Halloween Tree won an emmy. Presently, Ray Bradbury resides in San

Diego, California, where he still writes and gives lectures.

The Martian Chronicles

The book of Bradbury’s creation that I read was the Martian

Chronicles. Initially, I was intrigued by Ray Bradbury’s implementation of

elaborately descriptive settings. Each chronicle takes place during a different

month and year, arranged in chronological order, from January 1999 to

October 2026. Since the story spans over a long period of time, there are

several locations in which the events occur. The major settings of the story

include: Ohio, a small town next to the rocket launch pad, a large desert on

Mars, with canals, that is a harbor to the “dead cities,” a town on Mars

which is the home of Yll and Ylla , the Martian landing site next to one of

the canals, a Martian insane asylum, a town, that seems almost dreamlike in

a sense, because it is the memories of the flight crew projected onto the

Martian landscape, a luggage shop, and a city surrounded by rural farm area,

that has only one house left standing. These settings are used as a device to

move the novel along from each individual story to the next. I think that this

was a very interesting concept, because there are no main characters in the

book.

However, there are main characters within each chronicle. Ylla is the

first Martian introduced in the book; she is friendly, kind, and has an

outgoing personality. James Stupple indicated in his book The Past, The

Future, and Ray Bradbury that Ylla seems to lack love for