Bradbury Speaks
Too Soon From The Cave, Too Far From The Stars:
Essays on the Past, the Future and Everything in Between.

Ray Bradbury

When I lectured to a group of special-effects people a few years ago, I witnessed two hours of their technical expertise before going on to speak. I then said to them, “I love firework as much as anyone else in the World. My idea of something great is being in Paris on Bastille night, July 14, each year, by the Eiffel Tower and seeing the explosions of brilliant color and celestial constellations put up by the fireworks people. The problem is, when the wind blows, the fire is swept away, the color is gone from the clouds, the sky is empty. What you people have done and are doing is fireworks, which I love, but there is no content, there is nothing there when the wind blows. To use another metaphor: You cook up a brilliant Chinese dinner, and an hour later we”re hungry again.” p. 48

I had long since discovered that I must jump off cliffs with a great substantial dream and build my wings on the way down. Passion, not intellect, won the day. Producers and their half-blind director friends believed that by being what they thought was intellectual, they could sum sums and equate equations. I knew they were hammering up Tin Woodsmen, that sing as they might, would always lack hearts. p. 84

Those who do not live in the future will be trapped and die in the past. p. 107

…[I]t was not a single machine that faced Kasparov but the intellectual guts of three dozen men who peed their brightness into the nerve endings of the Dumb Player. The computer only looks like a machine. It is the neuron endings, gastric juices, lifeblood, sweat and ganglion fire that hide within, masking its stuff with wires, fused by ten thousand instant welds.

I have never wondered at such. Visiting Apple Computer or any other electronic-gizmo works, when the tour guides said, “Isn”t that wonderful?” I cried, “No!” Shocked they asked me what I meant. I mean, said I, “it is not wonderful. You are wonderful. You dreamed it. You blueprinted it. You built it. You infused it with process, with dream, with electronic imagination. It does not know it exists. You exist. You are the god I worship. A computer cannot best Kasparov. A legion of flesh-and-blood brains hid in a computer might. All hail Kasparov! All hail Apple battalions.” p. 111-2

“Because.” Which is the best reason for writers to go a-journeying. p. 120

In sum, we wear our hearts on our sleaze. p. 128

So look in the mirror. Maybe your fear was once mine. Maybe you”re playing Medusa to yourself and are frozen in place with a shriek locked under your tongue and no deicer. p. 198

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