Ray Bradbury's Advice To Struggling Writers: Struggle Harder!

Ray Bradbury has some simple advice to those of you who are struggling to get your science fiction published: Don't ever quit working. Bradbury's following his own advice: He's developing a TV miniseries, a movie... and a new musical?

There's something awe-inspiring about Bradbury recounting how he used to crank out a short story a week and mail it out — working so hard, he barely noticed the flood of rejection slips coming back from the magazine publishers. He consoled himself at the time that these editors were idiots who didn't recognize his genius — even though he later realized these stories were mostly garbage.


That work ethic seems to be firmly in place now that Bradbury is 89. He's announced that he's launching a TV miniseries of six episodes called "The Bradbury Chronicles," with each episode based on one of his stories. They'll each be directed by a different director, sort of like the Masters Of Science Fiction anthology series from a couple years ago. He's signed up with White Oaks Films to develop the miniseries, but no network is on board yet.

Meanwhile, Bradbury has a new movie, Chrysalis, which just premiered as On Demand video on Time Warner, Charter and Bright House. The film won the "best Sci-Fi Feature Award" at The International Horror And Science Fiction Film Festival. A press release from the film-makers quotes Bradbury as saying: "Chrysalis started to develop in my life more than forty years ago. I wrote ten different versions of the story and tried, unsuccessfully, to sell it to various magazines. I finally wrote one more version and sold it to "Amazing Stories." To have it come off the page and come alive is a real triumph. [Producer] Roger Lay, Jr. has done a first-class, A-1 job." The film should be out on DVD early next year.

And finally, Bradbury has written a new musical, called Merry Christmas 2116, in which "an aging couple approaching the 40th anniversary of their married lives together each decide to give their spouse a present. As coincidence would have it, Mr. Wycherly and Mrs. Wycherly each separately approach a maker of realistic, lifelike robots, called marionettes although they have no strings. Mr. Wycherly requests that Mr. Marionette manufacture a highly customized younger, more vital version of himself to please Mrs. Wycherly. The Missus, for her part, asks the robot-maker to fashion a young, hot, sassy, saucy version of herself for her Mister. When the new marionettes are each delivered to their designated recipients, the fun really begins." The show is running at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena on Saturdays throughout December.

[Bradbury Video via Science Fiction Buzz. Thanks to Dijou for the musical heads up!]


Chris Braak

It'd be a lot easier to take Ray Bradbury seriously if he didn't look so god-damn ridiculous.