I think Ray Bradbury may have especially enjoyed summer. I’ve mentioned before that the first few pages of his novel Dandelion Wine has a beautiful description of a twelve year-old boy waking up on his first day of summer vacation. Last week, I read his short story “The Picasso Summer”. Now this week, I read another of his short stories “All Summer In A Day”. I would also say that this story is more science fiction than his other two works that I’ve mentioned.
A colony of humans live on Venus where it rains continuously except for two hours every seven years when the sun comes out. A class of 9 year-olds don’t remember the last time the sun was visible so they all have their own thoughts on what it might be like. The central character is Margot, described by Bradbury as:
…a very frail girl who looked as if she had been lost in the rain for years and the rain had washed out the blue from her eyes and the red from her mouth and the yellow from her hair.
Through a cruel prank, Margot misses the two hours of sunshine while the other children get to enjoy it. The story is not very long, but it’s long enough for Bradbury to contrast the joy of those who get to experience summer and the tragedy of those who are kept from it.