Posted in Short Stories

Ray Bradbury: Kaleidoscope

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Space, distance, speed, screaming, lost appendages…and regrets – all get included in Ray Bradbury’s story “Kaleidoscope” which has a lineup of characters similar to the baseball story I read last week.  Of course, the lineup is a group of astronauts instead of baseball players and they were easier to keep track of.


Bradbury’s use of words amazes me.  The premise of this story is one that could easily be made into a movie with lots of special effects (actually, a movie has been made recently that is similar to this story – with lots of special effects).  I don’t know what Bradbury would think of his stories being filmed.  He may not have been completely against it, but I get the feeling that he would have been a man of words first – then maybe pictures.  But back to words – Bradbury manages to create what movie wizardry creates, but he does it with only words.  With only words, he blends comedy, tragedy, horror and…regrets.  With only words, he puts human faces on a space story.

It may sound cliche, but I would consider this story a “feast for the imagination”.  The natural world of space takes center stage and the descriptions are beautiful, but this doesn’t come at the expense of heart, emotion, psychology…or regrets.  The next time I see a shooting star, I won’t be able to help but think of this story.

7 thoughts on “Ray Bradbury: Kaleidoscope

  1. Hi Dale,

    I haven’t seen the “recent movie” with the similar themes, but I think I may be the last holdout. Bradbury actually became very involved in film and television. At one point (must’ve been when he was still young) he claimed he had seen every movie ever produced by Hollywood. I think I’ve mentioned before on my blog that he wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Moby Dick that starred Gregory Peck as Ahab.

    This particular story was my six of spades back in 2012. If you or any others want to see my post about it, it’s at


    1. Jay,
      I haven’t seen the movie, either, unless we are talking about different movies. I just say it – Gravity! For some reason, I didn’t want to reveal the premise of the story in my post, but looking back, I’m not sure why.

      Thanks for the info on Ray Bradbury and for the link to your post! I had a feeling he wasn’t completely against tv or film. I know he wasn’t big on ebooks. That’s interesting that he wrote the screenplay for Moby Dick.

      1. The book I have is a rather large book; however, I’ve gotten recommendations of stories that are not in it. I don’t know if there is a “complete” collection anywhere.

  2. I like a story that is a “feast for the imagination”! Do all his stories have this word wizardry feel?

    1. A lot of the ones I’ve read have this same feel. Occasionally, he has more “realistic” stories. One of my favorites is Picasso Summer. It’s sort of a mix of both.

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