Title: The Illustrated Man
Author: Ray Bradbury
Over the last weekend I listened to the audiobook version of The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. This was given to me as a recommendation mainly because I was asked to provide ideas of a scripted series with a bit of a science-fiction touch in the vein of Serenity/Firefly and the Illustrated Man and Metamorpheses were recommended as a basis for what the creator was looking for the stage.
I didn’t know what to expect from this series when I sat down to listen to it while I worked. Whatever I was expecting, what I ended up getting definitely wasn’t it. The best way to describe this series of works is that every short story dives into a different aspect of the human psyche while setting it in a more science-fiction, futuristic environment. So in all honesty a lot of these short stories do not necessarily have a need for a science-fiction, fantasy component, but it does help to drive the purpose of the story across.
Because there were so many short stories, I’ll go through a handful that actually caught my attention:
- “The Veldt”: This short story seems to be Mary Poppins meets Star Trek’s the Holodeck. Parents with very busy lives have a high tech nursery built into their home to keep their children happy. If I were to take this to the present time, I would say substitute the high tech nursery with video games, computers, television, etc. This story (to me) is more of a cautionary tale for parents in regards to parenting their children or letting technology to become the parents. I understand that we all live such busy lives that it becomes very easy to just let the children sit in front of the television and have them watch cartoons or let them play video games, but sometimes kids just needs to get out and be with other people or spend time together with the parents. Nothing beats true parenting than the parents themselves.