Creator / Ray Bradbury

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Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920-June 5, 2012) was an author of Speculative Fiction, Mystery, Horror and Literary Fiction. He was also known for his screenplays, poetry, and organizing large anthologies in the Science Fiction genre.

His most well known novel is probably the dystopian, Pre-Cyber Punk novel Fahrenheit 451. His most well known short story is probably "A Sound of Thunder", which gave the world the Butterfly of Doom.

Several of his novels and short stories have been adapted to film and TV series. Back in the 1950s, he discovered that two of his stories had been adapted by EC Comics without permission. He kept his sense of humor about this, writing a note to the publisher praising the adaptations, while remarking that he had "inadvertently" not yet received the royalties. The publisher was eventually able to print several fine authorized adaptations of his work.

Works by Ray Bradbury with their own trope pages include:


Other works by Ray Bradbury provide examples of:

  • Accidental Art:
    • In "The Year the Glop-Monster Won the Golden Lion at Cannes", a B-Movie is transformed into an acclaimed work of art when the projectionist gets drunk and shows the reels in the wrong order (and some of them upside-down and/or backwards).
    • "The Dragon Danced at Midnight"
  • Adult Fear: "The Night" centers around the disappearance of a child.
  • Advert-Overloaded Future: "The Murderer" features a man futilely destroying the myriad loudspeakers, radios, TVs, etc., which endlessly broadcast commercials at the populace.
  • Alien Invasion:
    • "Zero Hour"
    • "The Concrete Mixer"
  • All Hallows' Eve:
    • In "The October Game", a spooky game at a Halloween party takes a genuinely disturbing turn.
    • The Halloween Tree takes a group of boys through the history of Halloween as they try to save their missing friend.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Bradbury explored the idea of an entire species of innocents, in "The Fire Balloons". It is about a human missionary who wants to save the Martians' souls. He eventually discovers that their souls do not need saving. This is not presented as making the Martians bad so much as making humanity tragic because we are comparatively destined to sinfulness.
  • Ambiguously Human: M.Munigant in "Skeleton" appears completely human but the vacuum tongue and teeth strong enough to pierce bones gives you the impression that he isn't exactly normal.
  • Amusement Park of Doom : "The Black Ferris"
  • And I Must Scream: The protagonist of "Fever Dream" loses control of his own body.
  • Animated Tattoo: "The Illustrated Man" used this as a framing device.
  • Asshole Victim: Many characters in his stories deserve their (usually very painful) deaths.
  • The Assimilator: The crowd of the short story of the same name have been assimilating accident victims into their masses for DECADES continuing with the protagonist.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: "The Watchers" and "Fever Dream" feature evil bacteria.
  • Author Avatar:
    • Almost any character who self-identifies as "a writer" tends to have the same same ideals and romantic, lyrical flair as Bradbury.
    • The unnamed writer narrator of the mystery novels Death is a Lonely Business, A Graveyard for Lunatics, and Let's All Kill Constance is almost certainly him. He's not the driving force behind the action, and is really just there to get it all down on paper.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: In addition to being a Deadly Doctor, M.Munigant in "Skeleton" has no actual medical credentials.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: Inverted in "Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed". A group of humans flee war-torn Earth to colonize a mysteriously terraformed and abandoned Mars. After a while the idyllic climate of the planet changes the way they act and think to such an extent they forget they knew anything else. Effectively, the planet benevolently invades them.
  • Big Brother is Watching: "The Cricket on the Hearth"
  • Blood is Squicker in Water: "The Aqueduct"
  • Body Horror: "Fever Dream" is the story of a little boy who discovers that every cell in his body is slowly being replaced by... something, but nobody believes him because they think he's just delirious with sickness. The story ends with the boy having been completely replaced by the virus, with the parents none the wiser, and he's now a vector for the disease.
  • Body in a Breadbox: For someone who lives in the Deep South the protagonist of "The Jar" comes up with a pretty inventive way of disposing of evidence, he removes all the features that could be used to identify his wife and places them inside the jar he bought from a carnival
  • Body Surf: "The One Who Waits".
  • Book Burning:
    • "The Library"
    • "The Exiles"
    • "Bright Phoenix"
    • "Pillar of Fire"
    • "The Fireman" and "Long After Midnight", which are both early versions of Fahrenheit 451.
  • A Boy and His X: "The Emissary" has the protagonist and his pet dog. It ends very badly for the boy.
  • Buried Alive:
    • "The Screaming Woman".
    • Discussed in "Free Dirt".
    • "Let's Play Poison" has the protagonist be buried unconscious under a hole that is swiftly filled with dirt. The spot is eventually used to place a new step on the sidewalk
    • "The Coffin" has a variation where the protagonist is embalmed alive.
  • Broken Angel: "Uncle Einar Has Big Green Wings". Einar Elliott normally flies at night so he won't attract attention, but after running into electrical wires, his night vision/radar is damaged, perhaps permanently. His kids come up with an ingenious solution.
  • Cassandra Truth: Many Examples.
  • Christmas Creep: In "The Exiles", Christmas is banned. A character remarks that it is "A regrettable situation...for the Yuletide merchants who, towards the last there, as I recall, were beginning to put up holly and sing Noel the day before Halloween. With any luck at all this year they might have started on Labor Day!"
  • Chubby Chaser: "The Illustrated Woman" features a man named Willy Fleet who when he first encountered his plus-sized wife rhapsodized that "Michaelangelo would have loved you. Titian would have loved you. Da Vinci would have loved you. They knew what they were doing in those days. Size. Size is everything."
  • Cloning Blues: "Marionettes, Inc."
  • Color Me Black:
    • "The Handler" is about a disgruntled undertaker, who defiles all the bodies sent to him with lessons they should have learned in life. In particular, a racist bigot is embalmed with ink, turning his skin 'black as night'.
    • Achieved in "Chrysalis" with a sun tan.
    • Happens to the protagonist in "The Transformation"
  • The Con: Craig Bennett Stiles pulls one on the human race in "The Toynbee Convector" in order to bring about a new Golden Age. At the end of the 20th Century, Stiles (an Expy of Bill Gates) announced that he had successfully built the first functioning time machine. Bad news, it blew up when he finished his trip into the future. Good news, he brought back artifacts from the late 21st Century, proving that over the next hundred years, humanity would end war, poverty, disease and prejudice and essentially create a true Utopia. One hundred years later, the world is indeed the perfect place he had foreseen. Before dying at the age of 130 years, Stiles told the truth to a reporter; he made up the time machine and the artifacts, it was all smoke and mirrors. He had seen a world in despair, and gave the world a new vision to strive for. Stiles' utopia was based on a lie, but in the end it became the truth.
  • Confessional: "Bless Me Father, For I Have Sinned..." revolves around a priest being visited in the confessional by a mysterious stranger.
  • Contemptible Cover: I Sing the Body Electric - the highest-rated cover on that site.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: "The Highway" takes place in a Mexican village after a nuclear war has destroyed the outside world. Despite the holocaust and the ensuing flood of refugees, the residents of the village continue to live their lives as if nothing happened.
  • Creepy Child:
    • "The Small Assassin".
    • "Zero Hour".
    • "Let's Play "Poison".
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: "Skeleton". The protagonist has his skeleton willingly sucked out of his body which causes him to degenerate into a mass of flesh.
  • Cutting the Electronic Leash: In "The Murderer" a man gets fed up with his Advert-Overloaded Future filled with wristwatch phones, portable radios, and talking appliances. He starts by crushing his wristwatch phone and happily sharing a bowl of ice cream with his car radio.
  • Darker and Edgier: The people who have only read Ray's science fiction will be surprised when they read his two short story collections The October Country and ESPECIALLY Dark Carnival, which, among other things, feature:
    • A good chunk of the protagonists being buried alive.
    • Plenty of gruesome deaths and adult fears.
    • And lots of Zombies!
  • Dark Is Evil: "The Thing At the Top of The Stairs" has the titular creature, which lives in darkness.
  • Darkness Equals Death: "The Thing At the Top of The Stairs"
  • Death Seeker: Alfred Beck in the "Blue Bottle"
  • Death Takes a Holiday:
    • "The Scythe" features a man who becomes the Grim Reaper. When he learns what he's been doing he refuses to work, only to find that if he doesn't take the souls of people who are supposed to die they end up in an unconscious limbo state between life and death.
    • "Mr. Pale" is one of very few stories that treat everyone being unable to die as a good thing.
  • Demonic Dummy: "And So Died Riabouchinska"
  • Depraved Dwarf:
    • In "Skeleton", M.Munigant is an extremely small gentleman who happens to have a taste for human bones.
    • Averted in "The Dwarf".
  • Downer Ending: Several.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting:
    • "Kaleidoscope". Most of them are alive (for now), and able to talk to each other by radio till they get out of range.
    • "No Particular Night or Morning" ends with an insane astronaut jettisoning himself out into space, though unlike most examples he actually finds such a fate rather comforting.
  • Empathic Environment: "Here There Be Tygers".
  • The End of the World as We Know It:
    • "Bonfire".
    • Subverted in "The End of the Beginning". The narrator describes people all over the world staring at the sky waiting for the world to end because they know the exact date, time and place that it will begin. Eventually a searing white light appears in the sky and ends the world. The twist is... the bright light is a spaceship that has visited the first intelligent life humanity discovered. Naturally this marks the "end" of the world and the "beginning" of the universe.
    • "Embroidery"
  • Enfant Terrible:
    • "The Small Assassin" (maybe).
    • In "Zero Hour", every child in the world is convinced by an alien race to set things up to let them invade Earth and kill all of the adults. And they agree because they are promised later bedtimes, no baths, and all the TV they want. And it ends with the main character's daughter leading a group of aliens straight to her parents, while calling to them as she searches the house.
  • Evil Hand: In "Fever Dream" the protagonist loses control of one of his hands which then tries to attack him.
  • Evil Is Not Well Lit: "The Thing At the Top of The Stairs" which makes sense since the creature is banished by light.
  • Evil Phone: "Night Call, Collect".
  • Excited Show Title!:
    • "Mars is Heaven!"
    • "Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar!"
  • Faking the Dead: Dudley Stone in "The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone" fakes his death to go into retirement.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • In "The Reincarnate" humans are prejudiced towards the zombies and vice versa.
    • In "A Matter of Taste" the humans distrust the friendly giant spider aliens because of their appearances.
    • In "The Other Foot", Mars has been colonized by black Americans escaping racism. The rumored arrival of a white man kicks off some nasty undercurrents of retributive reverse-racism.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: "The Rocket".
  • Fever Dream Episode: "Fever Dream"
  • Fingerprinting Air: The murderer protagonist in "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" took this trope too much to heart: the police catch him while he's compulsively scrubbing the entire house in fear of what he may or may not have touched.
  • First Time in the Sun: Most of the characters in "All Summer in a Day". They're children who live on a perpetually wet, cloudy Venus where the sun only comes out for one hour every seven years.
  • Fisher Kingdom: Mars in "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed." The human colonists gradually change into Martians and forget they were ever human.
  • Food Pills: Food-capsules (AKA concen-tabs) in the short story "R is for Rocket".
  • Fountain of Youth : "The Black Ferris" has the titular Ferris Wheel which can reverse or increase aging depending on what direction it's going.
  • Framing Device: His short story anthologies are tenuously linked with ones. In The Illustrated Man, all the stories are animated tattoos on a carnival sideshow's back and The Martian Chronicles is supposed to be a chronological history of Earth's trips to Mars.
  • Freerange Children: Dandelion Wine.
  • Future Me Scares Me : "A Touch of Petulance"
  • Genius Loci:
    • The city in "The Lost City of Mars". After being rediscovered by Earthlings, it tries to trap them inside so that it has someone to entertain.
    • "Here There be Tygers" has an entire sentient planet. The planet is very friendly and wants to do anything to please the astronauts who landed there, from creating fish that cook themselves to perfect weather up to attractive female companions. When several of the astronauts leave, one decides to stay behind. Despite the planet appearing unfriendly with volcanoes appearing on it, the astronauts know the one who remained will be spoiled rotten by the planet. The astronauts decide to list the planet as unfriendly since it would be to those who would exploit it (rather than appreciate its gifts).
    • "The Wind" is a horror story about sentient wind.
    • "The City" involves a sentient Martian city ambushing the human explorers and changing them into cyborgs, so they'll launch a bioweapon attack on Earth and avenge its defeat in an ancient war with humanity's ancestors. And the story's narrated almost entirely by the city itself.
  • The Ghost: The title character of "The Man" is frequently referred to but is never seen.
  • Giant Spider: The creature responsible for the deaths of various children in "The Finnegan" is one of these. "A Matter of Taste" has an entire alien race of giant spiders.
  • Glasgow Grin: "The Smiling People" combines this with a slit throat.
  • A God Am I:
    • In "The Miracles of Jamie" a young boy convinces himself that he is Jesus Christ.
    • In "Jack In The Box" a boy is raised in a secluded house to eventually become god, like his father before him.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: The continued existence of their books is the only thing keeping the authors in "The Exiles" alive.
  • Grand Inquisitor Scene: In "The Flying Machine", a man in ancient China invents a flying machine, and the Emperor informs him that his machine must burn and he must die lest enemies use the contraption to attack the Empire.
  • Grand Theft Me: Cecy Elliot can jump into the bodies of anyone without them ever knowing.
  • Hall of Mirrors: "The Dwarf"
  • Heat Wave:
    • "Touched with Fire" has its main characters theorizing about heat and its effects on people: one character asserts that the most murderous temperature is 98 degrees Fahrenheit (cooler than that you can cope with; hotter than that and you don't want to expend energy in violent behavior).
    • "The Burning Man"
  • Historical-Domain Character:
  • Hooks and Crooks: The elderly woman in "Touched with Fire" is implied to be killed with a meat hook.
  • Hot Witch: Cecy Elliot.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Several.
  • I Choose to Stay: "Here There Be Tygers" involves a benevolent sentient planet and a team of prospectors encharmed by it. They all consider staying and one of them does.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Let's All Kill Constance, with Lampshade Hanging.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: One chapter of Dandelion Wine has a man fall in love with a beautiful girl by her photo alone, only to find out that the photo was taken a long time ago and that the girl is now an old woman. When the old woman learns of this after the two of them strike up quite a rapport, she tells him that they could probably have started a romantic relationship if not for their vastly disparate ages.
  • Just Before the End: "The Last Circus", if the brief discussion about nuclear weapons strong enough to incinerate Chicago in a single blast is any indication.
    • "The Last Night of the World"
  • Kids Are Cruel:
    • "All Summer in a Day".
    • "The Playground".
  • Kill and Replace: "Marionettes, Inc.", "The City," "Usher II."
  • Lensman Arms Race: "Golden Kite, Silver Wind" describes an arms race of superstition.
  • Life Embellished: Many of Bradbury's stories are quasi-autobiographical tales, re-imagined with elements of the fantastic and strange. This is particularly true of stories collected in the anthology Dandelion Wine.
  • Lighthouse Point: "The Fog Horn".
  • Literary Allusion Title: Several.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Appears in "Doodad", in which a man on the run from The Mafia or some equivalent helps a man who turns out to be a shopkeeper of such a shop: it sells "gadgets, gimmicks, doodads, doohingeys" and so on, which are composite imaginary tools capable of doing anything that any item ever described by that name can do.
  • Madness Mantra: "The Long Rain".
  • Madness Montage: "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl".
  • Magic Realism: Dandelion Wine and many of his short stories fall into this, usually combined with a hefty dose of nostalgia.
  • Moral Guardians: The villains of a great many of his stories, particularly his dystopian fiction.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: M.Munigant from "Skeleton" use his tongue as some kind of organic vacuum.
  • Mummy: One is constructed in "Colonel Stonesteel's Genuine Homemade Egyptian Mummy.".
  • My Future Self and Me : "A Touch of Petulance"
  • Name's the Same: Plenty Examples
    • At least two stories are named "Skeleton"
    • There also two completely unrelated stories that are named "Chrysalis"
    • Many characters from Bradbury's amateur writings are named "The Lonely One" which is also the name of the Serial Killer in "The Whole Towns Sleeping".
    • In a "Green Town" story a girl who made fun of the protagonist is named Isabel Skelton, which is also the name of one of the murderous children in "Let's Play Poison"
    • Ray also seems to really like his middle name since almost every boy protagonist in his short stories is named Douglas.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: A somewhat meta example: If a Bradbury story features the word "October", something horrible is likely to ensue.
  • Native American Casino: The setting of "Hail to the Chief"
  • Never Mess with Granny: The protagonist of "There Was an Old Woman" who not only defies death for years but also manages to cheat death after she has died BY GOING TO THE MORGUE AS A GHOST AND FORCING THE ATTENDENTS TO GIVE HER BODY BACK!
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: "2116", a Bradbury-penned Christmas musical with robots.
  • Nostalgia Heaven: Eerily subverted in "Mars is Heaven".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The main source of generating fear in "The Trapdoor" and "The Thing at the Top of the Stairs".
  • Not Using the Z Word: The zombies in "The Reincarnate" are only referred to as "walkers".
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: "Banshee"
  • Our Genies Are Different: "The Blue Bottle" has the titular bottle which grants whoever holds it anything they want.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: "On the Orient, North", "Another Fine Mess", "Hello, I Must Be Going"
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • "The Man Upstairs" has a very different example; in addition to apparently having no internal organs, Mr. Koberman can only be identified as a vampire by looking at him through stained glass, which lets you see his aforementioned lack of organs. The mere presence of silver also causes him severe physical discomfort.
    • Several members of the Elliot family display vampire like characteristics such as the ability to shapeshift and the inability to be seen in mirrors. They habitually drink blood and sleep in boxes during the day, but apparently that's all voluntary. Timothy and a few other members, like Uncle Einar, get by quite well without drinking blood, and sunlight doesn't seem to hurt any of the family. Zig-Zagged, to say the least.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • "Interim"
    • "The Emissary"
    • "The Handler"
    • The zombies in "Pillar of Fire" can only be resurrected if they actually believe in an afterlife.
    • In "The Reincarnate" zombies are apparently a everyday fact of life and they behave the same as normal humans save for their difficulty with movement and weakened senses.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl".
  • Perpetual Storm:
    • "The Long Rain": a rocket crashes on Venus, where it rains constantly. The crew must locate a Sun Dome in which they can find shelter, or die.
    It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping in the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains.
    • "All Summer in a Day". The planet Venus has constant rain, except for a 1 hour period each seven years.
  • Persecution Flip: In "The Other Foot", the population of Mars is entirely black. Because the planet was colonized within recent memory, adults have memories of segregation and lynchings, and when the news arrives that a rocket manned by whites is entering the atmosphere, a furious mob gathers, planning to institute Jim Crow laws in reverse. They are ultimately deterred when it's revealed that Earth has been bombed out after a nuclear war, and the story ends with the survivors settling on Mars and the hope of a new start for humanity.
  • Possessive Paradise: Here There Be Tygers, the paradise planet seems to be this way. Once almost all the astronauts leave, since one was killed eaten by a tiger since he was trying to drill into the planet they see the beautiful planet now covered with nasty storms, volcanic eruptions, lightning storms and the likes. The twist is one astronaut stayed behind; the nastiness is an illusion, as the one who stays will be spoiled rotten by the planet.
  • Protect This House: Averted in "The Island" where the family could fight off the person invading their home, but they are too scared to even try and end up with all but one of them dead.
  • Public Domain Character:
    • Dorian Gray in "Dorian in Excelsus".
    • The three witches from Macbeth appear in the beginning of "The Exiles".
    • The witches appear again in "The Concrete Mixer".
  • Purple Prose: He's pretty good at it, though.
  • Reality Warper: The various famous authors in "The Exiles"
  • Recycled in SPACE: Leviathan '99 is literally Moby-Dick in a futuristic setting, but with a comet replacing a whale and the ethnic stereotypes replaced with aliens.
  • Refugee from Radio Land: The titular character from "Ma Perkins Comes to Stay".
  • Ring... Ring... CRUNCH: "The Murderer".
  • Safe Zone Hope Spot: The first Sun Dome the team encounters in "The Long Rain".
  • Science Destroys Magic: "On the Orient, North" and others.
  • Science Is Bad: "The Murderer" and others.
  • Science Marches On:
    • There's several pieces he's written that describe one-piece rockets being used for interplanetary and interstellar travel, as opposed to the multi-stage rockets that have actually been used.
    • Several stories, including "All Summer in a Day" and "The Long Rain", depict humans living on a Venus that is much like Earth except for the incessant rain, having been written when little was known about Venus except that it was a similar size to Earth and completely covered by clouds. It's since been discovered that Venus's cloud cover is not composed of water but sulfur dioxide, and furthermore that due to the resulting greenhouse effect Venus has the highest surface temperatures of any planet in the solar system — anybody who tried to set foot on Venus would be incinerated in moments, long before they had time to get depressed by the precipitation. (This makes "The Long Rain", in which a group of astronauts stranded out in the endless downpour long for the warmth of one of many "Sun-Domes" that provide shelter and warmth, particularly amusing in hindsight.)
  • Send in the Search Team: Several.
  • Sense Freak: "The Fox and the Forest".
  • Serial Killer: The Lonely One in "The Whole Town's Sleeping".
  • Shakespeare in Fiction: William happens to be one of the protagonists of "The Exiles".
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: The old man in "Lafayette Farewell", a fighter pilot for Nazi Germany.
  • Shout-Out: Many Examples. A large amount of them towards various authors Ray admired and the films of Lon Chaney.
  • Skeletal Musician: Inverted in "Skeleton", aside from eating them M.Munigant likes to use bones to make instruments.
  • Slashed Throat: See Glasgow Grin above.
  • Society Marches On: These days it's very hard to believe that the woman from "The Rocket Man" wouldn't have either followed her husband into space or gotten a divorce, years ago.
  • Spontaneous Crowd Formation: "The Crowd".
  • Stock Ness Monster: "The Fog Horn".
  • Surprise Creepy: With so many of his works being lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek affairs, it's easy to forget that Bradbury could do dark and twisted horror with equal skill. The real surprise is the ease with which he can bounce between "whimsical" and "blanket clutching terror" multiple times within a single short story.
  • Surreal Horror: Several Examples.
  • Talk to the Fist: An anecdote attributed to Bradbury, though nobody seems to know the source:
    "A horrible little boy came up to me and said, 'You know in your book The Martian Chronicles?' I said, 'Yes?' He said, 'You know where you talk about Deimos rising in the East?' I said, 'Yes?' He said 'No.' — So I hit him."
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: "Embroidery"
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: "Night Call, Collect".
  • Those Wacky Nazis: "Unterderseaboat Doktor".
  • Token Human: Timothy Elliot is the only member of his family with out any sort of special powers. Keep in mind that almost everyone in his family are immortal, not to mention that many of them are also vampires, Ambiguously Human, or ghosts.
  • Tomato Surprise: The ending of "The Town Where No One Got Off" reveals that the protagonist went into the town to murder someone
  • To Win Without Fighting: "A Piece of Wood" has the soldier protagonist realize how stupid the conflict he's fighting for actually is he then causes his side to lose by way of a quickly spreading rust virus and the murderous general and soldiers can't even do anything to a man who refuses to even fight them.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The centerpiece of the short story of the same name
  • Venus Is Wet:
    • "The Long Rain" is set on Venus, where it rains constantly.
    It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping in the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains.
    • In "All Summer in a Day", the planet Venus has constant rain, except for a one-hour period each seven years.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: "The Whole Town's Sleeping" (according to Bradbury) is apparently based on several real murders that occurred in his hometown.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Happens to the Villain Protagonist of "Pillar of Fire" after his plan to cause a Zombie Apocalypse fails and he is given a "Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Villain Protagonist: Many examples
  • Villain Teleportation: The titular crowd of people in "The Crowd" can seemingly appear anywhere out of thin air as long as an accident has occurred.
  • Voodoo Doll: One of the witches in "The Exiles" kills an unnamed astronaut with one of these.
  • Walking Wasteland: The protagonist of "Fever Dream" becomes this.
  • Winged Humanoid: Uncle Einar of the Elliot family, unlike his relatives, is completely normal, save for the enormous green wings sprouting from his back.
  • The World Is Not Ready: In "The Flying Machine", a man invents the titular device in ancient China. The Emperor realizes that the machine could be used for war (such as for flying over the Great Wall of China), and has the inventor executed and the machine destroyed.
  • You Are the New Trend: The protagonist of "The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse" is so immensely boring that he becomes the center of attention in the Avant Garde scene.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One of the zombies in "The Reincarnate" wantsto have this happen.
    • Attempted by the protagonist of "Pillar of Fire" but never actually happens because he is Driven to Suicide

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