02 December 2013

An Evening With Ray Bradbury

Yesterday, I came across this rather wonderful 2001 talk from Ray Bradbury, from University of California Television.

He appears to be talking to an audience of aspiring writers, and while the talk is wide-ranging, his two key recommendations seem to be

  1. Write lots of short stories (one a week, anyway) and delay starting novels
  2. Each night, for the next thousand nights, read one short story, one essay and one poem.

This is interesting advice, and the programme is attractive.

He makes various specific suggestions, mostly for authors, which I thought I’d capture and note here:

Short Story Authors

  • H G Wells
  • Roald Dahl
  • Guy de Maupassant
  • John Cheever
  • Richard Matheson
  • Nigel Kneale
  • John Collier
  • Edith Wharton
  • Eudora Welty
  • Washington Irving
  • (Herman) Melville
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Katherine Ann Porter
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • G K Chesterton


  • Shakespeare
  • Alexander Pope
  • (Robert) Frost

Nothing modern: “it’s all crap”. [I don’t agree, but then I’m not Ray Bradbury.]


  • Aldus Huxley
  • Loren Eiseley
  • George Bernard Shaw (especially George Bernard Shaw vs. G K Chestson (debates))
  • The great philosophers

I may have missed one or two, but I think these lists contain most of his specific recommendations.

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