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Are We Living in a World Ray Bradbury Tried to Prevent?

Are We Living in a World Ray Bradbury Tried to Prevent? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Ray Bradbury at UCLA project to illustrate characters from his science fiction dramas, 1964. Frampton, Mary. Los Angeles Times. July 20, 1964. Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives (Collection 1429). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

A Zócalo/Fowler Museum at UCLA Event with ZYZZYVA
Moderated by Oscar Villalon, Managing Editor, ZYZZYVA

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Imagine a society where truth and knowledge have no value, people are glued to their screens, and world war feels imminent. Or think of a place enraptured by the seductive promises of a carnival-hawker con man. Sound familiar? The first, of course, is the dystopia of Fahrenheit 451, the story of a firefighter charged with burning books in order to destroy knowledge. The second is the fictional Green Town, Illinois, the setting of Something Wicked This Way Comes, the story of a sinister traveling carnival leader and the young boys who thwart his plot to enslave their home. They are two of the most famous novels by one of the most brilliant and beloved science fiction writers of all time: Ray Bradbury. The author, who saw the dangers inherent to the modern world, used a variety of genres, including fantasy, horror, and science fiction, to illuminate pressing issues like censorship and xenophobia.

Author Lilliam Rivera, Arizona State University Center for Science and the Imagination professor Michael Bennett, and Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University, visit Zócalo in honor of what would have been longtime Angeleno Bradbury’s 100th birthday, to discuss what he would make of 2020, and what his work can teach us in the current moment.

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The Takeaway

Ray Bradbury’s Mirror to Our World | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Ray Bradbury’s Mirror to Our World

Democracy. Technology. The Media. The Science-Fiction Writer—Who Would’ve Turned 100 This Week—Has Never Been So Relevant

Happy 100th birthday, Ray Bradbury. But did you have to be so right about our world? There were no candles and no cake on the YouTube or Twitter livestreams during …