“Make Haste to Live” – Ray Bradbury : Quicker Than the Eye Afterword
Summary This collection of short stories by one of the masters of SF is a wonderful collection from an author that appears to not know time. There are a total of 21 stories here that run from thoughtful fiction (“The Other Highway”, “At the End of the Ninth Year”, “Remember Sascha”) to full fantastical “conspiracy minded” stories (“Unterseaboat Doktor”, “Zaharoff/Richter V”) to historically tinted, “tribute” style stories (“The Finnegan”, “Last Rites”, “Dorian in Excelsus”). My personal favorites are this last category, with “Last Rites” and “The Very Gentle Murders” as my two favorites.
Opinion It amazes me the freshness and tact that Mr. Bradbury writes with. As many would see it as a “twilight”, he sees this as a carreer peak. Amazing skill and language uses and style are wrapped into a very nice collection. I would not call this a SF collection, though there are many that would qualify. I would consider more a fiction collection with fantasical or imaginative elements.
As an example, take the story “Last Rites”. It is about a time machine and a character travelling back in time to meet some of his favorite people. They turn out to be his favorite authors, all of whom he meets on their death beds; all of the opinion they are failures. They turn out to be Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, and Oscar Wilde. All of which are Bradburys heros. The story never focuses on the technology and only breifly describes the machine. Is it SF or is the time travel a device to allow Bradbury a chance to say “Thank you” and pay his respects?
Overall, a nice read and a great deversion from the “scope” of a novel. It is nice to look a big picture but sometimes you just want to look quickly and get a quick look. You can get this as a paper back very cheaply. Worth the $6.
The best advice comes from the afterward.
–”Make Haste to Live”–