Weekly Readings: Ray Bradbury

It is time for Ray Bradbury's turn in our Weekly Readings Series, we will be focusing on his short story The Fog Horn. But first, I think I should give you some information about the author himself.

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and screenwriter... Ok you get it, he liked writing, a lot, with well over 500 published works. He first started building up his reputation with the publication of The Martian Chronicles, a Sci-Fi series which describes humanity's first attempts to colonize Mars.

His most famous work is the classic novel Fahrenheit 451, set in a world where books are forbidden and it's the firemen's job to ignite fires to destroy them. It's considered one of the best books of all time, you should give it a try if you haven't.

His short story The Fog Horn was published on 1951, you could classify it either as Sci-Fi or Horror. It relates the last night that two co-workers, the narrator and his boss, share on a lighthouse. During the night, the boss starts telling the story of a mysterious sea creature that comes to visit the lighthouse, a creature that has been returning for years.

I highly recommend you give it a read, it's a short and amazing work. The story is pretty well written, gives you some food for thought, and it has some pretty epic passages:

“One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold sunless shore and said, “We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I'll make one. I'll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; I'll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I'll make a sound that's so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in the distant towns. I'll make me a sound and an apparatus and they'll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life.”

I don't want to spoil much of what happens and if that passage alone did not make you want to read it, I really don't know what will, so I will leave it at that for now. You can find the full short story here.

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