Category Archives: ray bradbury

Author Frederik Pohl Passes at 93

There was a time in junior high school when I was devouring all the classic science fiction at the local small town library, or at least trying to. I was fascinated by Bradbury, found Asimov and Clarke far too obtuse, loved Ellison to death, dug Heinlein and Dick, and also really liked Frederik Pohl.

Besides Harlan Ellison, Pohl was one that entranced me into reading more of his work immediately. I spent some time exploring Gateway, Jem, and the secrets and stories of the Heechee. Fantastic stuff. I should give it another read after all this time. Two days ago, Pohl passed away at the age of 93. He’ll be missed.

Advertisements

Ray Bradbury Is Dead

Ray Bradbury is dead. That is the news I woke up to this morning. I still can’t believe it is real.

Recently, with so many pop culture deaths, I have had to write more than a few memorial pieces here on the blog. A dear friend told me just a few weeks ago I was very good at it. I would like to do the same here for this man I admire so much, but I can’t. I just can’t. I have no words. Other folks will have to do it for me, as they have done here.

Again, I have no words. People often talk of the day that Bill Haley died, or when John Lennon was shot, or when Kurt Cobain took his own life, as the day the music died. This is the day of no words.

The man was an inspiration, a genius, a forefather, an icon, perhaps one of the best writers of our time. I could read Bradbury’s work over and over again and always get enjoyment and wonder, and still learn from it on each reading. His words made me think. I could say that Harlan Ellison and Stephen King made me want to write, but Ray Bradbury made me want to read.

Ray Bradbury is dead. Today is a day without words.

The Book of Eli

The Book of Eli ~ Every once in a while, actor Denzel Washington takes a side trip into science fiction or the paranormal and we get a terrific high quality genre film. The Book of Eli is one of them. This dark post-apocalyptic flick is filmed in sepia tones close to motion capture, adding an edge to every scene no matter what is going on in it. I think this technique was a good choice by the Hughes brothers, very stylistic.

The film opens with Denzel, as Eli, killing and eating a cat. While eating the cat, he offers some to a rat. There you go, the tone is set and the character defined. On the other hand, where’s PETA when you need them? Seriously I always like show over tell. Eli is real and alive in our minds after that moment.

Eli holds a book from ‘before’ that can change humanity, hopefully for the better. That book is, and spoilers, folks, The Bible. And those are only sarcastic spoilers as its identity, while not mentioned ’til halfway through the movie, is pretty obvious. If you can’t figure it out in the first ten minutes you’re not paying attention even though the flick makes it seem like brain surgery. Anyway, many blame The Bible for whatever happened to mankind while others see the book as a path to power.

Gary Oldman plays one of those men who seeks to take over using the words from the book and regularly sends his henchmen across the wasteland that was America to find books, specifically The Bible. And most books are gone, as they were all burned along with The Bible because that caused all this mess. Yeah, this is like the negative aftermath of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” but it works.

Oldman is always amazing and always surprising, a joy to watch no matter what the role. Ray Stevenson of HBO’s “Rome” is his lead henchman and Mila Kunis plays the damsel in distress. Along with Denzel, all impress.

The Book of Eli is simple but powerful. Props to the Hughes brothers. And watch out for the very M. Night twist of an ending. Highly recommended.

Bookmark and Share