#91: The Illustrated Man -Ray Bradbury


i like to read older Sci-Fi. i think it gives us a glimpse into the zeitgeist of our recent past in ways other media don’t.

News reports give us an objective view of bygone eras (at least those from the past did)

History books paint for us the portrait the victors have for us to enjoy

Comedy writings and shows allow us to see the humor of those cultures

And Sci-Fi lets us see the hopes or dreads of our forerunners.

This collection of short stories, tied together by the tale of a carnival-freak tattooed head to toe who has at least two very special tattoos that depict the future, was published in 1951. The Illustrated Man paints a picture of Bradbury’s visions for the future that range from dread to beautiful optimism.

Especially engaging was the story, “The Other Foot”. Bradbury couldn’t find anyone to publish the story in the U.S. so he gave it to a magazine overseas. It’s a powerful story of hope for a better future. In a society of segregation and racism Bradbury dreamed of a future not just of equality but of overcoming the hatred that was pervasive in American society.


Book Club of One Grade: C+. It’s a quick read, the format makes it easy to power through the stories that aren’t as engaging. Bradbury is (obviously) one of the greats of Sci-Fi and this is a great place to dip your foot into the waters of this American master.

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