This June, we lost one of the greatest storytellers of all time, Ray Bradbury, at the age of 91.
With stories such as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, just to name a few, and with Bradbury finally allowing his work to be available on Kindle before he passed, his literary legacy and influence will continue on for many years to come.
Artists often have a lot of unreleased material, and not only will there be a lost Tolkien poem released next year, but there’s also several Bradbury stories that he finished right before he passed away that will be released this fall.
According to the Associated Press, one is a short story called The Book and the Butterfly, and the second is another short tale known as Dear Santa.
The Book and the Butterfly will appear in the Best American Nonrequired Reading collection, while Dear Santa will appear in Strand Magazine.
Butterfly is Bradbury’s ode to the joys of reading and books, and the Nonrequired Reading compilation will be edited by Dave Eggers, author of a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
Bradbury actually passed away just a few weeks after finishing The Book and the Butterfly and it’s truly amazing he kept going so late in his life.
Eggers said Bradbury’s piece “was wonderful of course, so full of undiminished joy,” and again, for Bradbury to still have that spirit so near the end of his life for storytelling is remarkable. Part of what Bradbury wrote was quoted in the report, and you really do get the sense of how much he loved reading, and imagining incredible worlds beyond our own. Here’s a small part of the intro he wrote for Nonrequired Reading:
“The books I brought home from the library caused me to think about the origins of life and the universe. How did it start? Where does it end? I recall Midwestern summer nights, standing on my grandparents’ hushed lawn, and looking up at the sky at the confetti field of stars. There were millions of suns out there, and millions of planets rotating around those suns. And I knew there was life out there, in the great vastness. We are just too far apart, separated by too great a distance to reach one another.”