Back in 2010, The Paris Review interviewed one of science fiction’s legendary authors, Ray Bradbury, who died two years later. While all of the Paris Review’s interviews provide wonderful insight into the minds of the greatest writers of our time, Bradbury’s is a true gem. We recommend reading it in its entirety but see below for some of our favorite moments.
In this excerpt, the beloved writer expounds upon the details behind his romance with the genre:
Science fiction is the fiction of ideas. Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I’m borrowing energy from the ideas themselves. Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.
I often use the metaphor of Perseus and the head of Medusa when I speak of science fiction. Instead of looking into the face of truth, you look over your shoulder into the bronze surface of a reflecting shield. Then you reach back with your sword and cut off the head of Medusa. Science fiction pretends to look into the future but it’s really looking at a reflection of what is already in front of us. So you have a ricochet vision, a ricochet that enables you to have fun with it, instead of being self-conscious and superintellectual.
(photo from openculture)