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Ray Bradbury on Science Fiction and Fantasy

Ray Bradbury had this to say about science fiction and fantasy, as quoted from the introduction to (I believe) The Circus of Dr. Lao and Other Improbable Stories:

Science-fiction is the law-abiding citizen of imaginative literature, obeying the rules, be they physical, social, or psychological, keeping regular hours, eating punctual meals; predictable, certain, sure.

Fantasy, on the other hand, is criminal. Each fantasy assaults and breaks a particular law; the crime being hidden by the author’s felicitous thought and style which cover the body before blood is seen.

Science-fiction works hand-in-glove with the universe.

Fantasy cracks it down the middle, turns it wrong-side-out, dissolves it to invisibility, walks men through its walls, and fetches incredible circuses to town with sea-serpent, medusa, and chimera displacing zebra, ape, and armadillo.

Science-fiction balances you on the cliff. Fantasy shoves you off.

[via Mirathon]

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on Ray Bradbury on Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. That sounds like modern Ray Bradbury. *sigh*

    I can’t tell if he’s in favor of, or against, fantasy. Certainly most of his career would fall under fantasy rather than sci-fi (witness: Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree, etc.).

    Also, ask ME how YOU can USE H3RB4L ENHANCERS to IMPROVE your “READING SKILLS!” Be reading HARDCOVERS in MINUTES! Never read PAPERBACKS again!

    (because the SfSignal spam filter keeps blocking me; maybe if I insert some real spam, I’ll weasel my way through)

  2. No go, Pete. Your comment was once again flagged as spam. Good thing I check this once in a while, even though in this case I was 18 hours too late. 🙂

  3. Considering I’ve read a quote from Bradbury where he stated that even the Martian Chronicles was fantasy and the only Science Fiction he wrote was Fahrenheit 451…I’d say this has to be in favor of fantasy.

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