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R is for Rocket (1962)

de Ray Bradbury

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This is a collection of short stories from the pen of Ray Bradbury.
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Uneven. When it's great, its Bradbury's best. When it's not, it reads like "rockets, rockets, rockets, childhood wonder" and never breaks the pattern. Spotty great rather than sustainably good. ( )
  Smokler | Jan 3, 2021 |
Farewell summer, Ray Bradbury. Got the news just as I finished reading this book. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Retro-fitted edition of classic anthology. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 16, 2016 |
This collection of short stories are connected by the common themes of life in the future and space travel. I liked the way those themes progressed throughout the collection, but I wasn't that impressed with most of the individual stories. They seemed too simplistic and at times, too naive for my taste. I think The Time Machine and The Sound of Summer Running were my favorites, but this may just be because it took my so long to get through the whole collection that I'm remembering the later stories more clearly than the earlier ones. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
'R is for Rocket' is a collection of collections, primarily science fiction as one would expect by the title. Most of Bradbury's writing I would not call science fiction, but with this it is. All but two of the stories had previously appeared in other collections when they were brought together here in 1962. Think of this as Mr B's greatest hits for boys. and some girls. and who cares what your age is. When I first read this in 1976 I was already familiar with several of the stories from other collections, but reading what amounted to a collection of hits in one place put this one high on my favorites list. Re-reading it all these years later I am still amazed by some of these stories. They take me back just a little to that magic "sense of wonder" feeling one has as a youth.

Bradbury was rarely an idea man like perhaps Arthur C Clarke. He's a stylist. A fabulist. Many other things. He really can't be pigeonholed as a "type." Every story here isn't fabulous. The truth is that the science fiction feels very dated. Every story was written before there was a single satellite in space. There is even one in the middle ("The Exiles") I quite dislike. The collection begins a little weak frankly, but once it gets going, it goes. "The Rocket" is a sad but sweet tale that I had completely forgotten about and really enjoyed it. "The Fog Horn" is perhaps an even sadder story than I remembered. As a bit of trivia, the story, or a version of it, was first published in The Saturday Evening Post, June 23, 1951. The title then (and the subsequent very loose movie interpretation) was ... "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms."

The story that really knocked me out the first time I read this collection was "Frost and Fire." Re-reading this story I remembered a few of the essential elements but had forgotten most of the story. Honestly it doesn't carry quite the impact that it had long ago, but the central idea of it and how the story was done is still amazing. A 70 year old tale that still kicks butt.

I read "Here There Be Tygers" last year in an old anthology. It is a great story. Here's what I wrote then: "Bradbury's opening story is kind of neat. It is an allegorical piece, an ecological tale, of a sentient planet like Eden. Remind yourself this was written in 1951. If you're like me a Star Trek episode from the 60's will probably come to mind. "

The last two stories in the collection are extracts from Dandelion Wine.

In sum, reading this again was a bit of a disappointment. Something of an exercise in nostalgia. It didn't keep me from enjoying this a lot.

The included stories are:

1 • R Is for Rocket • (1943)
16 • The End of the Beginning • (1956)
21 • The Fog Horn • (1951)
29 • The Rocket • (1950)
39 • The Rocket Man • (1951)
50 • The Golden Apples of the Sun • (1953)
57 • A Sound of Thunder • (1952)
69 • The Long Rain • (1950)
83 • The Exiles • (1949)
97 • Here There Be Tygers • (1951)
110 • The Strawberry Window • (1955)
118 • The Dragon • (1955)
121 • The Gift • (1952)
124 • Frost and Fire • (1946) • novella
164 • Uncle Einar • (1947)
172 • The Time Machine • Dandelion Wine • (1955)
179 • The Sound of Summer Running • Dandelion Wine • (1956) ( )
1 vota RBeffa | Oct 18, 2015 |
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There was this fence where we pressed our faces and felt the wind turn warm and held to the fence and forgot who we were or where we came from but dreamed of who we might be and where we might go...
When I was a boy in the Midwest I used to go out and look at the stars at night and wonder about them. (Introduction)
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This is a collection of short stories from the pen of Ray Bradbury.

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