Friday, June 8, 2012

Ray Bradbury - The Long Rain


On the passing of Ray Bradbury, other sites will tell you in detail about his Fahrenheit 451 or The Martian Chronicles.  But the work I remember most is his short story The Long Rain

This was back when people assumed Venus was a rainy planet, because of its cloudy appearance.  Bradbury himself probably didn’t buy this as rigorous science (anymore than he believed Mars was crisscrossed with canals for his Martian Chronicles), but he went for it:  The Long Rain portrays Venus as a planet where it constantly rains. 

When I was a teenager, a classroom had this reader (collection) of short stories, and I spotted one by Bradbury.  I was transfixed by it.  At least three men are lost on Venus, trying to reach a human settlement while getting soaked to the skin.  The unending nature of the rain is so maddening, one of the men is simply lost before the others notice.  Another goes insane, but when slapped, neither man feels it; their skin is waterlogged and numb. 

Finally, one of them reaches the settlement, where he strips off his clothes beneath an artificial sun. 

I was thoroughly impressed when I read The Long Rain during class, and I still remember it all these years later. 



And for Bradbury’s surprising political views, look here.

1 comment:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I haven't read any of his stuff. At least I don't remember reading any of his stuff. I didn't exactly pay much attention to the assigned reading in English. ;)

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