Happy September friends,
As the first day of autumn quickly approaches, we want to invite you to celebrate the season with us. Most of the folks at the Ray Bradbury Center were born in the fall, and we know that it was Bradbury’s favorite season as well. As we mentioned in our August issue of the Bradbury Beat, September is proving to be the busiest month of the year for us. We’ve selected this month for Festival 451indy, and we are in the midst of a flurry of activity as I write this.

The month started with most of the team traveling to Chicago for the World  Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) where the Center was represented on 12 programs, and for the first year ever, we also hosted a table on the convention’s main floor, which allowed us to connect with hundreds of Bradbury fans over the course of five days.

We also hosted two hospitality events—a multilingual read aloud of the opening passage of Fahrenheit 451 alongside Dark Matter Coffee, and the 48th annual Keith Kato Chili Party at the American Writers Museum. Needless to say, we returned exhausted and elated with no time to rest as we continue preparations for the other programs that comprise this first year of Festival 451indy.

If you haven’t had a chance to participate in the festival yet, please consider joining us for the remaining programs detailed below!

By Dr. Jason Aukerman, Director of the Ray Bradbury Center

Festival 451indy Events
Multilingual Read Aloud - Sept. 18

The Ray Bradbury Center teams up with Indy Reads on September 18th to present a multilingual read aloud event. 

Members of the community are invited to experience the emblematic opening passage of Ray Bradbury’s most famous work, Fahrenheit 451, read in multiple languages. Join us at Indy Reads in Fountain Square for a unique and exciting event.

Click here to register

Phantom of the Opera at Kan-Kan Cinema - Sept. 22

Join the Ray Bradbury Center at Kan-Kan Cinema on September 22nd for a unique showing of Lon Chaney’s The Phantom of the Opera, a film that helped secure Bradbury’s love of cinema, writing, and the arts.

The showing will be followed by a panel discussion led by Ray Haberski, Director for the Institute of American Thought, and featuring leading Lon Chaney school and film historian Eric Grayson, local film scholar Coye Lloyd, and award-winning actor Bill Oberst Jr.

This program has been made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Event Cost $10
Click here to register

Feed Your Imagination Monthly Lunchtime Story Club -
Sept. 29

This month’s Story Club will be a special 90 minute meeting and the story will be “Forever and the Earth” from Long After Midnight. Read it online here.

Click here to register.

Todd Wronski’s Kurt Vonnegut: My Lives' Stories - Oct. 1 & 2

On the occasion of the centenary of Kurt Vonnegut’s birth, Fringe veteran Todd Wronski presents a portrait of one of the 20th century’s great writers using Vonnegut’s own unique spoken and written words. Using his tongue-in-cheek system for analyzing the structure of stories, the audience is led through the many stories contained in his life’s biography, including an Indiana upbringing, experiencing World War Two (surviving the firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war), his breakthrough as a fiction writer, and his long life as a commentator and faithful Pall Mall smoker.

Warnings: Adult language - Smoking

Student: $15
Senior: $20
Adult: $25
Click here to get your tickets 

Ray Bradbury Center Appreciation Corner
The Ray Bradbury Center would like to give a well deserved shout-out to the wonderful people at Dark Matter Coffee in Chicago for creating this delicious Mechanical Hound Coffee Cold that we were able to pass out during Chicago World Con this year! And a second thank you for also hosting our first Multilingual Read Aloud at Dark Matter Coffee’s Star Lounge Coffee Bar.

If you’d still like to get your hands on one of the fabulous Mechanical Hound Coffee Colds, come to our Festival 451indy programming throughout the month of September. 
Golden Apple Picks
Hello! I’m Morgan Coffman, a current graduate student of Museum Studies at IUPUI. I recently started as an intern here at the Ray Bradbury Center. I’m a lifelong fan of science fiction, so I’ve come across Bradbury many times throughout the years. I really enjoy his short stories, especially "There Will Come Soft Rains". In addition, I also really love horror movies, Star Trek, and cryptids.


The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is another big name in science fiction and this is one of her most popular novels, published in 1969. The Left Hand of Darkness follows Genly Ai, a human ambassador sent to an alien planet to convince its inhabitants to join an intergalactic alliance. While there, he must deal with culture shock as he attempts to fit in with a people that have no concept of gender.


What We Do In The Shadows on Hulu

What We Do In The Shadows is a comedy horror show surrounding the lives of a house of vampires and their human familiar. The show is a mockumentary series following the vampires as they encounter human mishaps and supernatural foes. The series is currently on its fourth season and only gets better as it goes on.


Malevolent on Spotify

A cosmic horror podcast created by Harlan Guthrie, 
Malevolent tells the story of a 1930s private investigator named Arthur Lester who receives a strange book in the mail that leaves him blind. Going forward, he must learn to trust the mysterious voice in his head as he uncovers an intricate mystery of cults, monsters, and eldritch horrors, with new episodes released monthly.

Fun Facts From the Archives

"Bal-Hi" edition of Fahrenheit 451 - from the Ray Bradbury Center Archives
First published in 1953, Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of a future dystopia where books are banned and firemen start fires instead of putting them out. Crack open the pages of this particular edition and you’ll find it has a parallel story to tell.
In 1967, Ballantine Books released an expurgated edition of Fahrenheit 451 intended for high school students. Known as the “Bal-Hi” edition, this censored version removed any use of swear words, swapped words like “drunk man” for “sick man,” and changed or removed some seventy-five passages.
Both the original, uncensored version and the “Bal-Hi” editions were available for a while, but Ballantine stopped publishing the original in 1973, and the censored version was the only one available for purchase. The publication of a censored edition went seemingly unnoticed until 1979 when Bradbury became aware of the "mutilation." Bradbury demanded Ballantine pull the censored version and replace it with the original. They agreed, and the original has been back on the shelves since 1980.
Haven’t read Fahrenheit 451 in a while, or maybe ever? Pick up a copy at your local independent or used book store. We’ll go ahead and recommend an uncensored version. This one has a lovely introduction by Neil Gaiman.
Curious to know more about this story and hear others like it? Come visit us at the Ray Bradbury Center and join us at upcoming events.
We Love stories!
By Carrie Cooper
Did You Know?

As we inch closer to our upcoming Multilingual Read Aloud, we wanted to show off some of our amazing foreign editions here at the Ray Bradbury Center. We have roughly 50 different languages/ translations of some of Bradbury’s most famous works! 
By Jordan Brinker-Saigaonkar

"And the letters continued to pour across the hills: coin collectors’ catalogues, novelty books, magic list numbers, arthritis charts, flea killer samples—the world filled up her letterbox and suddenly she was not alone or remote from people." — Ray Bradbury, "The Great Wide World Over There" from Golden Apples of the Sun

With literacy on our minds at the Ray Bradbury Center this month, I couldn't help but reminisce on my favorite Ray Bradbury story — "The Great Wide World Over There" from Golden Apples of the Sun. I first heard this story on Levar Burton Reads and its bittersweet nature has stuck with me since. 

Our protagonist Cora, who seems to live a rather sheltered life, is finally able to connect to the wider world through her nephew Benjy, who can read and write. Though Cora can't read herself, she is imaginative, yearning for lands far away. Having Benjy visit is a thrilling connection to this wider world beyond her own hills.

Though Cora initially intends to learn how to read herself, she becomes dazzled with the new letters that arrive. So dazzled, that she forgets to learn how to read at all. Meaning when Benjy leaves, he takes her connection with him. 

Bradbury understood the importance of connection and the role that the written word plays in connecting people. It never matters to Cora that she is receiving junk mail because she is still a part of the greater world that continues running with or without her, but it does matter when she stops receiving those letters. 

Cora's story warns us not to be so distracted with false connections that we forget to learn the tools to continue to forge genuine connection.

By Kylie Adkins

Illustration for "The Great Wide World Over There" by Joseph Mugnaini
Director’s Note
The Ray Bradbury Center works hard to preserve and advance Ray Bradbury’s legacy. We do this by helping people cultivate their imaginations, foster robust reading lives, and pursue the things they love. We cannot do it without your support. By giving to the Ray Bradbury Center, you become part of the team, part of our work, part of the legacy, and we are beyond grateful. Thank you so much!
- Dr. Jason Aukerman, Director
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