The Golden Apples of the SunThe Golden Apples of the Sun
Year: 1997
Author: Ray Bradbury
Length: 338 pages

While I know Ray Bradbury is a great science fiction writer, before I read this book I only knew of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, both of which I’ve read. In this collection of short stories, Bradbury shows he’s not just a writer of sci-fi, but of other genres and ideas as well. That being said, his strength certainly lies in science fiction, even if these stories are a bit dated from their original, 1950’s publications. Either way, most of the stories contained in this collection were quite short and could be easily read in those brief moments in between life’s activities.

Many of the stories reveal the political ideologies of their time. From the threat of nuclear war to the unknown of interplanetary travel, these themes continue to pop up throughout this book. Some of the stories are a little abstract, but there are enough solid pieces to make the weaker stories almost negligible. Regarding the non-sci-fi stories that comprise most of the first half of the collection, some of the more entertaining pieces were “The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl,” “The Murderer,” and “The April Witch.”

After reading through the first half of this book, I was pleased to arrive at the meat of Bradbury’s talent. Sure, he can spin a compelling tale set in the 1950’s, but the futures he describes are engrossing and thought-provoking. Some of these sci-fi stories give you the sense that he eventually turned the idea into one of his famous books. “The Exiles” unquestionably reads as a prescient counterpoint to Fahrenheit 451. Other notable sci-fi pieces in this book were “Frost and Fire” (probably the longest story in the book), “A Sound of Thunder,” “Here There Be Tygers,” “The Long Rain,” “The Rocket Man,” and “The Strawberry Window.”

A great collection of Ray Bradbury’s short stories, I give The Golden Apples of the Sun 4.0 stars out of 5.

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