Tag: Ray Bradbury

The Handmaid's Tale

13 Quotes from Dystopian Novels to Get You Fired Up

For as long as we have been granted freedoms, there have been people fighting to take those freedoms away; this is the most human of cycles. There has never been (and will likely never be, at least not right now) a time when people haven’t had to stand up against the systemic and societal oppression they’ve been forced to deal with everyday.


We’ve been warned about what can happen when we allow ourselves to stop caring about the state of the world and the other people inhabiting it by authors since the beginning of time; the entire dystopian genre is centered around it. So, don’t allow yourself to grow sedentary but also don’t grow too fearful; for as many greedy, selfish, oppressive, bad figureheads there are in existence, there are way, way more of us who really do care and move with empathy while fighting for a world of genuine equality.


So, take a look at these thirteen quotes from dystopian novels and give yourself that extra push you may need to keep marching forward! 


“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”  Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale



“Every faction conditions it’s members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that, no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.” Veronica Roth, Divergent



“Did you ever feel, as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using – you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World



“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell, 1984



“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451



“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange



“Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.” Lois Lowry, The Giver



“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.” Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale



“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas



“Tell freedom I said hello.” Lauren DeStefano, Wither



“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451



“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged


“I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running, not staying, but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.” Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave








Featured Image via Romper

Fahrenheit 451

HBO’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Adaptation Is Burning Books

Did you know HBO is adapting Ray Bradbury’s infamous 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451? If you didn’t know, now you do, and if you did, that’s cool. Turns out, to make the adaptation, the production team had to burn some books. Several hundred, actually.


“Sadly, we had to burn several hundred books,” said Ramin Bahrani, writer, director, and executive producer of the made-for-TV film. “They were real books; there was no way around [burning them]. We had to do it for the film.”


Bahrani, an Iranian-American, put a lot of thought into the scenes where Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon burn books to censor information from the American public. “I grew up speaking and reading Persian before English, and I think a lot of people read and speak various languages,” he said. “We live in a world where people are intersecting language and cultures on a daily basis. If the firemen control things, they should control everything — not just books written by American men in English.”


According to the director, the most difficult part of the burning scenes wasn’t the selection of books or the pyrotechnics – it was the book covers. Bahrani says:


We had to design the covers for a lot of the books ourselves. That became a bizarre problem in pre-production. “We could get the rights to the books to burn them, but we could not get the rights to most of the covers, because they were very complex: There was an artist, there was a graphic designer, there was a typographer. Tracking all these things down proved impossible. It was an unexpected challenge because we were so busy, we ended up having to hire two new designers for the art department just so that they could focus on making all these books.


Some of the books shown include Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. In HBO’s adaptation, the firemen of the militaristic police state also burn music and computer servers. They limit access to all information, not just written word, a departure from the original storyline, however the inclusion of alternate sources of information makes the story more relevant for today.


“I thought it would be a chance to modernize and re-imagine it for a world that includes the Internet and technology,” said Bahrani. “Because if I came to your home and burned all your physical books, I’m sure you would not be happy about it, but you could just download them again from the cloud.”


Despite my mouth dropping open, aghast, when I initially found out about the burning books, it seems as if the production tried to go about this as respectfully as possible. 


“Oddly, Bradbury [writes in ‘Fahrenheit 451’] about pages burning in a hypnotic or seductive way, how they curl up on each other,” says Bahrani. “But the only time this actually happened [during filming] was actually [Bradbury’s] ‘The Martian Chronicles.’ We were shooting a close-up of it burning and the page kept curling up, one page after the other. And it kept curling up by chance on the name ‘Bradbury’ over and over again, so we were filming his name burning one after another. It seemed like a good omen somehow, that he was watching over the shoot.”


Check out the teaser trailer for HBO’s adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 below!




Featured Image Via HBO.

Fahrenheit 451

New ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Trailer Features Michael B. Jordan and Flamethrowers

The trailer for HBO’s upcoming Fahrenheit 451 adaptation is here, and it’s lit. Starring Michael B. Jordan fresh off the success of Black Panther, and Michael Shannon fresh off the success of The Shape of Water, the straight-to-TV movie boasts a surprising amount of star power. Celebrated director Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) wrote and directed the film, and it looks solid sci-fi and, of course, topical.


Jordan plays fireman Guy Montag and Shannon plays his boss, Captain Beatty. As firemen, they burn books. This policy is reflective of the society they live in, as people have become increasingly dependent on TV. Montag gradually becomes disenchanted with his role in perpetuating that sort of anti-intellectualism, which is the central conflict of the book. This is all for those who didn’t read the book in high school.


Bradbury’s book is a classic, and was previously adapted in 1966 by François Truffaut. Bahrani’s film looks like a modern sci-fi classic, rivalling the likes of Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! And while HBO is adapting classic works of sci-fi, how about showing Asimov and Heinlein some love? Check out Fahrenheit 451 on HBO this May, and watch the trailer here.



Feature Image Via HBO

Fahrenheit 451

‘Fahrenheit 451’ Back in Headlines, but This Time It’s Funny!

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is renowned as one of the most important books of the twentieth century, but also one of the most controversial. The dystopian novel is full of social commentary regarding government sanctioned censorship in a post-Nazi Germany world, dealing with the aftermath of Joseph Stalin and McCarthyism. The book was understandably controversial in 1953, but you’d think sixty-four years later it wouldn’t cause quite the ruckus. 


When Milo, the (allegedly, I’m having a hard time putting a pin on the age of this handwriting) 8th grade son of Daniel Radosh, a writer for The Daily Show, came home with a permission slip to be able to read the book, things got a bit snarky. 


I love this letter! What a wonderful way to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451 that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society—schools and parents—might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one. It’s easy enough to read the book and say, ‘This is crazy. It could never really happen,’ but pretending to present students at the start with what seems like a totally reasonable ‘first step’ is a really immersive way to teach them how insidious censorship can be. I’m sure that when the book club is over and the students realize the true intent of this letter they’ll be shocked at how many of them accepted it as an actual permission slip. In addition, Milo’s concern that allowing me to add this note will make him stand out as a troublemaker really brings home why most of the characters find it easier to accept the world they live in rather than challenge it. I assured him that his teacher would have his back.


Go Dad!



Featured image via Simon & Schuster. 

First Playboy magazine cover, Marilyn Monroe, Dec. 1953

How Playboy’s Literary Editor Made Me Rethink Playboy

If yesterday you asked me what I thought about Playboy magazine I would gladly tell you that I am completely ignorant toward the subject (hoping you wouldn’t hear my underlying biased tone). But boy am I glad that I don’t genuinely enjoy knowingly being ignorant toward things.


Did you know that Playboy published fiction by some of the biggest names in literature?


Amy Grace Loyd

Image Via The Rumpus


In her editorial for The Guardian, Amy Grace Loyd, literary editor for Playboy magazine for six years, gives us an interesting look into her literary career working for a magazine that is known more for male entertainment than it is for its editorials.


Loyd writes about her controversial first assignment- commissioning a series of essays on Nabokov’s Lolita, and about how working for a sexist magazine didn’t distract her from making the literary aspect of the publication credible. She also touches on how she views Playboy magazine’s original ideals reflecting upon readers today. I personally have never picked up a Playboy magazine, and a part of me wouldn’t want to pick one up for my own personal beliefs, but I’m glad I like to keep an open mind because Loyd’s experience certainly helped me ease into the magazine’s existence.


Did you know that Playboy magazine published editorials written by Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, and Margaret Atwood? If you did, you’re cool, but if you didn’t, welcome to the club. What struck me the most about this piece was Loyd’s overall understanding of her position as an editor and a woman within this awkward and controversial crossover between naked women and Esquire-esque articles. Apparently, the naked women were actually a way to lure readers into the editorials, a reality that Loyd needed to understand and explain to others in order to basically continue making a living. She just couldn’t possibly afford to let the commodifying of a woman’s body get in the way of her job. (Pun intended)


A part of me wonders if the pressures of earning an income swayed Loyd into this perception of the women in the magazine, but nonetheless, she seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed fighting the battle against social norms and stigmas. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t see much fighting needing to be done in 2017 since we’ve already fallen so deep into the acceptance of social deviances, i.e. Trump. Loyd’s nostalgia for Hugh Hefner’s dedication to a consistent structure of Playboy magazine leaves me to believe that maybe the magazine is actually worth a look-see.


Feature Image Via The Australian