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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.