Celebrating the Ray Bradbury Centennial

A Read-A-Thon is launching in honor of the SoCal sci-fi icon. And at the South Pasadena Public Library? A colorful window tribute is on the way.

Michael Kai/copyright Tim Carey, Tim Carey Studio

What to Know

  • Aug. 22, 2020 is the centennial of author Ray Bradbury's birth
  • Aug. 22-Sept. 5 streaming Read-A-Thon of "Fahrenheit 451"
  • South Pasadena Public Library is raising funds for three stained glass windows in honor of the author, who spent much of his life in Los Angeles

If you've ever felt like you were living inside a science fiction novel, the kind that whimsically speaks to how real-world humans comport themselves, make mistakes, and attempt to make everything right again, you're not alone.

It can seem, at times, that we're living inside a story dreamed up by the great Ray Bradbury, a fanciful visionary who cleverly questioned the whys, ifs, and how comes of modern society, its often puzzling traditions, and how people ultimately honor larger ideas, ideals, and each other.

And in doing so?

The reader awakens to vaster visions, too, all while realizing that the strange fiction she's enjoying isn't so far removed from her own world.

To honor the groundbreaking author of "Fahrenheit 451," fans from around the world will enjoy a streaming Read-a-Thon. The Library of Congress, Los Angeles Public Library, and several other august American institutions are participating in the event, which launches on Aug. 22, 2020, the centennial of Mr. Bradbury's birth.

Several literary luminaries, including Neil Gaiman and Susan Orleans, will participate in the streaming event, which will conclude on Sept. 5.

And while the writer was born in Illinois in 1920, he lived in Los Angeles for much of his life, making this smart-of-mind, spirited-of-heart centennial a homegrown celebration for many Southern Californians.

One local library is also shining an extra light, via three new windows, on the author's incredible career.

The South Pasadena Public Library is spending this centennial year on a major and permanent art project, one that will honor the author's legendary works and image: A trio of stained glass windows that will beautifully bestow the western side of the library's Community Room.

While Mr. Bradbury didn't call South Pasadena home, he reportedly felt quite the kinship with the quaint small town. He took time from writing to oversee the staging of some of his works at the Fremont Center Theatre, which is located a short walk east of the historic library.

The library, which has hosted events themed to the author's books in the past, is also home to the Ray Bradbury Conference Room.

South Pasadena artist Tim Carey is behind "Live Forever," a fused and stained glass tribute to Ray Bradbury, while LA's own Judson Studios is a partner on the project.

Depicted in the ethereal, allegory-rich windows?

Look for visual references to "Fahrenheit 451," "Dandelion Wine," "The Illustrated Man," and "The Halloween Tree," as well as an ode to the Fremont Center Theatre and the author himself.

Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library is currently raising funds for the $24,000 project. To donate, visit this page.

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