“The Toynbee Convector” by Ray Bradbury

I wasn’t very impressed by this collection of short stories by Bradbury.  I wonder if works by a famous author generally decline in quality once they achieve a certain level of notoriety … they know whatever they churn out will sell well, so don’t make much of an effort like they used to.  Not sure if that is the case in this particular instance; maybe I just don’t like Bradbury (I remember reading and enjoying “Farenheit 451” back in high school; but then again I once tried “The Martain Chronicles” and hated it….)

The majority of these (truly short – less than ~10 pages each) stories have a a twist — sometimes clever, most of the time not really.  Several times just “huh?”

The stories I liked best were a few “what’s up there lurking in the attic” type horror stories.  The title story was also decent, but kind of predictable.  A guy created a time machine and traveled several decades into the future.  His widely reported stories of gleaming cities, peaceful nations, and general prosperity inspired a generation.  Years later, the world resembles very much the world the time traveler prophesied.  The world awaits the arrival of the time traveler from the past, but the time and date come and go with nothing.  Turns out he had faked the whole thing — his whole goal was to inspire the world with his vision of what it might become.

Clever … although I don’t think the scientific community would blindly accept the word of a single “time traveler” and never test out his claims….

 

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