“Fahrenheit 451” 60 Years Later: “Why do we need the things in books?”

dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

“Sometimes writers write about a world that does not yet exist,” Neil Gaiman begins his Introduction to the 60th Anniversary Edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451:

This is a book of warning. It is a reminder that what we have is valuable, and that sometimes we take what we value for granted….

People think—wrongly—that speculative fiction is about predicting the future, but it isn’t; or if it is, it tends to do a rotten job of it….

What speculative fiction is really good at is not the future but the present—taking an aspect of it that troubles or is dangerous, and extending and extrapolating that aspect into something that allows the people of that time to see what they are doing from a different angle and from a different place. It’s cautionary.

Fahrenheit 451 is speculative fiction. It’s an “If this goes on…” story. Ray Bradbury was writing about…

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About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
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6 Responses to “Fahrenheit 451” 60 Years Later: “Why do we need the things in books?”

  1. oneangelrosa says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. I see that you are a Teacher. I was wondering if you would not mind. Reading some of my writings and comment I would love your input.
    Thanks in advance
    Brandy Wright

  2. DrEMiller says:

    Umm… That should read David Brin. Maybe auto-correct will keep it that way this time. 😏

  3. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • DrEMiller says:

      Great article, isn’t it? I love speculative fiction–was introduced to the more recent authors by my husband who is often asked by Greg Benford, Greg Bear, and even David Brinkley to review their work. Joe is a critic of “hard science fiction” as a hobby, but I have been reading and re-reading the classics for more years than I care to mention. This review was originally shared by fellow educationalist, Diane Ravitch, whom I follow onTwitter.

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