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Fahrenheit 451 published as Bradbury finally succumbs to ebooks

Try burning bytes, fireman Montag

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Legendary science fiction writer Ray Bradbury has overcome his objections to ebooks and will start releasing some of his works in electronic form.

The first book to be published is his seminal classic “Fahrenheit 451,” the 1953 tale of a dystopian future world where books are burned on sight and a literary underground fights to keep the printed word alive by memorizing the classics. Next year the electronic versions of “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man” will also be published.

“It’s a rare and wonderful opportunity to continue our relationship with this beloved and canonical author and to bring his works to new a generation of readers and in new formats” said Jonathan Karp in a statement. “We are honored to be the champion of these classic works.”

Ray Bradbury

Take your internet and stuff it

Bradbury, despite his profession as a science fiction writer, has displayed technophobic tendencies and is a skeptic of the value of things like the internet. In 2009 he told the New York Times that the internet was a “distraction” and that he didn’t want his books and stories to be on it.

“Yahoo called me eight weeks ago,” he said in 2009. “They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what I told them? ‘To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the internet.’ “It’s distracting, it’s meaningless; it’s not real. It’s in the air somewhere.”

That said, Bradbury did collaborate with games designers in 1986 to script a computer game for the Atari platform to act as a sequel to Fahrenheit 451. The text-based adventure game begins five years after the book ends, the fugitive hero of the original book, ex-fireman Guy Montag, seeks to infiltrate the New York public library and retrieve books that have been scanned. However, once the player wins the game, they are instantly immolated by other firemen - so maybe Bradbury’s not that keen on technology after all. ®

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