Whilst on the bus this morning and browsing through the early tweets, I noticed a few references to Ray Bradbury popping up. As most folk know now, he has passed away at the age of 91. In the middle of a diet of Hardy Boys, Biggles, Enid Blyton, I read a short story collection of science fiction tales…probably around 5th or 6th class. There was one story that has stuck in my head ever since “Dark They Were and Golden Eyed” by Ray Bradbury. I haven’t read it since but from what I can recall it’s tale of a new land and to some extent assimilation charting that sense from migrant to local. It was also this collection that got me into SF which carried me through my teens and 20s, and on; SF alone probably accounts for about a third of my books.
That story as I later discovered, was a connected story to Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. It wasn’t part of the Chronicles and was only published in a few short story collections. A couple of years ago, Subterranean Press put out a fancy edition of the Chronicles that collected everything into a single volume. I ummed and ahhed long over whether to purchase it. Finally missing out when it was released initially but then jumping on a later opportunity. It included Dark They Were… as well as another short story I vague recall reading in high school “There Will Come Soft Rains” and a whole lot of stuff. I’ve read a few of books by him over the years and numerous short stories.I haven’t re-read that story yet but I think I’ll dig it out over the weekend.
Bradbury has ever remained a writer who made me stop and think.