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There Will Come Soft Rains

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First published in Collier's, May 6, 1950.

The story concerns a household in Allendale, California, in the aftermath of a nuclear war.

30 pages, Paperback

First published May 6, 1950

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About the author

Ray Bradbury

2,216 books22.1k followers
Ray Douglas Bradbury, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943, and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before publishing a collection of them, Dark Carnival, in 1947.

His reputation as a writer of courage and vision was established with the publication of The Martian Chronicles in 1950, which describes the first attempts of Earth people to conquer and colonize Mars, and the unintended consequences. Next came The Illustrated Man and then, in 1953, Fahrenheit 451, which many consider to be Bradbury's masterpiece, a scathing indictment of censorship set in a future world where the written word is forbidden. In an attempt to salvage their history and culture, a group of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy as their books are burned by the totalitarian state. Other works include The October Country, Dandelion Wine, A Medicine for Melancholy, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I Sing the Body Electric!, Quicker Than the Eye, and Driving Blind. In all, Bradbury has published more than thirty books, close to 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, and plays. His short stories have appeared in more than 1,000 school curriculum "recommended reading" anthologies.

Ray Bradbury's work has been included in four Best American Short Story collections. He has been awarded the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, the PEN Center USA West Lifetime Achievement Award, among others. In November 2000, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters was conferred upon Mr. Bradbury at the 2000 National Book Awards Ceremony in New York City.

Ray Bradbury has never confined his vision to the purely literary. He has been nominated for an Academy Award (for his animated film Icarus Montgolfier Wright), and has won an Emmy Award (for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree). He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's Ray Bradbury Theater. He was the creative consultant on the United States Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. In 1982 he created the interior metaphors for the Spaceship Earth display at Epcot Center, Disney World, and later contributed to the conception of the Orbitron space ride at Euro-Disney, France.

Married since 1947, Mr. Bradbury and his wife Maggie lived in Los Angeles with their numerous cats. Together, they raised four daughters and had eight grandchildren. Sadly, Maggie passed away in November of 2003.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday in August 2000, Bradbury said, "The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me. The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was twelve. In any event, here I am, eighty years old, feeling no different, full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed me. I have good plans for the next ten or twenty years, and I hope you'll come along."

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5 stars
3,156 (45%)
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2,482 (36%)
3 stars
953 (13%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 626 reviews
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
April 22, 2019
One of Ray Bradbury’s most poignant short stories, this also has one his most recognized scenes.

Quietly, somberly describing a smart house after a nuclear holocaust, Bradbury uses this Cold War theme as a vehicle to explore our technological advances and how those same advances can lead to dehumanizing results.

The title comes from Sara Teasdale’s 1920 poem “There Will Come Soft Rains” and Bradbury quotes the text and uses the lyric quality of the work to emphasize his own message:

“There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.”

First published in 1950 in Collier’s Magazine, Bradbury shared with many of this era an anxiety about nuclear war. The memory of the United States’ bombing of Japan and the escalating weapons race with the Soviet Union provide a stark backdrop for the gentle, cautionary tale.

One of his best short works.

Profile Image for Maureen .
1,446 reviews7,062 followers
December 4, 2022
The title of this short story, comes from the poem of the same name by Sara Teasdale written in the 1920’s. It tells of a post apocalyptic world where in 2026 an automated house continues to inform its inhabitants what bills need paying today, it cuts the grass, turns the sprinklers on, takes care of breakfast and a zillion other things as it does every day. However, its inhabitants are no longer there, reduced to silhouettes in paint, the result of a nuclear war.
Beautifully written, it can be read here for free https://www.btboces.org/Downloads/7_T...
Profile Image for Kevin Ansbro.
Author 5 books1,476 followers
June 11, 2020
"Cannot you see that it is we that are dying, and that down here the only thing that really lives is the Machine?"
—Kuno, to his mother in The Machine Stops.

This very short story was written in 1950, when the USA and the USSR were hell-bent on posturing and flexing some nuclear muscle. It's set in the far-distant future of 2026 and Ray Bradbury brings to the table a similar level of clairvoyance that E.M. Forster displayed in The Machine Stops, way back in 1909.

In his take on the 'machine taking over humanity' trope, Bradbury ingeniously imagines an Amazon Alexa-style electronic assistant whose daily purpose is to wake people up and orate diary events, chiming merrily away like Jiminy Cricket on crack cocaine.
In stark contrast to the chirpy home management system, the post-apocalypse house in which it is installed stands alone in a killzone landscape of rubble and ashes. Outer walls are stencilled with the silhouettes of citizens incinerated by nuclear blasts.
Written in a frenetic style that suits the piece, Bradbury cleverly allows the story to unfold…
I shall say no more lest I spoil the outcome.

This is a thought-provoking story that stayed with me long after I'd finished reading. Four stars, rather than five, because E.M. Forster, the all-seeing polymath, got there first four decades earlier.

Big thanks to Adrian Glenister, whose intriguing review caused me to grab this without a moment's hesitation.
Adrian's review.

This fifteen-minute story is a Free download
Profile Image for Nika.
151 reviews163 followers
January 21, 2023
The clock is ticking

"Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

These poetic lines from a lyric poem by Sara Teasdale imply that nature is much stronger than human beings. It will be here when or if humans are gone.

People have invested a lot of energy and resources in creating smart houses. Now we can see what is happening inside one of such houses. It appears to be running seamlessly. Everything works as it should. Without any delay, there is a freshly made breakfast on the table. Tiny robot mice clean the rooms so that each corner of the house is neat and tidy.
However, something is wrong. Something must be terribly wrong. The house continues to function according to established rules in the absence of its owners. It can stand empty for days.
The scene of that house sent shivers down my spine.
The armchairs in the living room are comfortable and inviting, but no one is there to occupy them. The warm bath is ready, but no one is going to take it. Why does it so? What is the cause for this abandonment?

At some point the minute hand shifted forward, a time imperceptible by anyone, and then there were none. Just a few moments were enough to wipe out a whole city with its inhabitants. Women, men, and children were swallowed by swirling fire as though they had never existed.
Houses may resist decay here and there, and a random dog fearfully may be slipping through smoke and mud.
But the fight against darkness and death seems to be lost. Silence and smoke are about to dominate the landscape.
Those who had lived under the roof of the well-organized house, as well as thousands of others, were violently pulled out of life. The clock is ticking. If we could turn back time... No one possesses this magic ability. What is done cannot be undone.

The short story combines a powerful message with beautiful and vibrant writing.
It can be read here.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Kimber Silver.
Author 1 book266 followers
July 23, 2023
"All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself

~Eric Carmen, All By Myself

A short science fiction story published initially on May 6, 1950, There Will Come Soft Rains walks us through a day in the life of an automated home. I know it sounds simple, perhaps even a bit boring, but I can assure you that this tale is anything but dull.

Like an aria, the narrative opened slowly with the dawning of a new day filled with promise. But instead of a soloist, the lead of this grand opera comes in the form of a family home; and as rain fell softly, drumming a gentle pitter-patter on its roof, I watched gadgets go about their usual business and listened in as the house told me of the day's events.

"Today is August 4, 2026," said a second voice from the kitchen ceiling, "in the city of Allendale, California." It repeated the date three times for memory's sake. "Today is Mr. Featherstone's birthday. Today is the anniversary of Tilita's marriage. Insurance is payable, as are the water, gas, and light bills."

As breakfast was auto-plated, I thought that my wait to meet the inhabitants of this state-of-the-art domicile was about to be rewarded. But no one appeared. Where had they gone?

Bradbury endowed this abandoned house, and each of the mechanical creatures therein, with human qualities, and these characters made of metal and fire touched me as much as any person could. His writing was sublime and so fraught with tension that I held my breath as the story built to a crescendo.

A haunting but brilliant cautionary tale that will give you pause for thought. I loved it!

Many thanks to goodreads friends Kevin and Maureen for their fab reviews that unearthed this gem.
Kevin's review.
Maureen's review.
It is free to read HERE.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,137 reviews4,178 followers
February 19, 2021
The title is from an anti-war poem by Sara Teasdale, here, written during WW1.

Bradbury writes an initially comic (computerised Heath Robinson) and very cinematographic scene that felt disorientingly different from the preceding Martian Chronicles, but works well as a standalone. But it arises from the horrific cinders of a nuclear explosion. An automated house continues its programmed routines of preparing meals, cleaning, watering the lawn, playing films, running baths, reading favourite poems - all for people who aren’t there. People whose shadows were captured on a wall, in a moment: mowing the lawn, picking flowers, tossing a ball.

Image: Shadows on the wall (Source)

It's worth browsing YouTube for the many short amateur animations this has inspired. Given that Bradbury wrote the story, afraid of nuclear war with the USSR, a Russian one was notable, and also for its imagery that might shock some Christians. Many of the others were too cutesy, and without enough humour or horror, imo. Oddly, only one of the half-dozen I watched included the most memorable image of all, but I didn't like its hybrid visuals: photos with cartoonish animation superimposed, intercut with real world video. That one is here.

This story is also published as one of The Martian Chronicles, which I've reviewed in detail HERE.
Profile Image for Adrian.
573 reviews209 followers
June 6, 2020
This short story is part of Bradbury’s marvellous book “ The Martian Chronicles”, that I last read over 3 years ago now, gosh how time flys.
The title of this short story, comes from the poem of the same name by Sara Teasdale written in the 1920s and like the poem looks at a post apocalyptic world where an automatic house of the future (2026) miraculously spared during a nuclear holocaust is still trying to look after its long dead inhabitants; making breakfast, tidying the house, running baths and reading poetry (cue Sara Teasdale poem).
It may only be 10 pages long but it is as ever wonderfully written and very poignant.

As I said in my review of the whole book I really must read more of his works as I always enjoy them.
Profile Image for Hanneke.
338 reviews351 followers
December 9, 2022
What a truly haunting short story by Ray Bradbury! A house which continued living on by itself after a total destruction of the world all around.. Bradbury wrote this dystopian horror story in his usual splendid poetical sentences. If you would like to read it, Nika posted a link in her review.
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
5,110 reviews725 followers
August 18, 2022
Still life after automation - what endures after man has left his legacy of destruction to vanitas void - haunting. After we are gone how long will our legacy remain - the traces we leave behind that will bear witness to our final act of folly. Ray Bradbury is a master of subtle irony - never judgemental - always asking the reader to look past today into tomorrow.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
January 25, 2016
A classic SF short story by Ray Bradbury, about an intelligent house carrying on in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster. Bradbury creates a melancholy world with many small details, as the house takes care of breakfast and informs the absent owners of things that need to be done. And then this sobering paragraph:
The garden sprinklers whirled up in golden founts, filling the soft morning air with scatterings of brightness. The water pelted windowpanes, running down the charred west side where the house had been burned evenly free of its white paint. The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one titantic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hand raised to catch a ball which never came down. The five spots of paint- the man, the woman, the children, the ball - remained. The rest was a thin charcoaled layer. The gentle sprinkler rain filled the garden with falling light.
This 1950 story is inspired by Cold War fears in the years after World War II and the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but, with the concerns about global warming and other forms of terror today, it hasn't lost its relevance. Interestingly, Bradbury originally set this story in the year 1985, but later editions changed it to 2026.

The title of this story comes from an actual 1920 poem by Sara Teasdale, read aloud by the house to the absent mother of the home. It's a downer for humankind but hopeful for nature's resilience, although I'm not certain I see any of the poem's hopeful aspect reflected in the rest of the story.

A copy of this story can be read online here.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,326 reviews2,145 followers
July 22, 2020
Written in 1950 this short but compelling story was set way in the future, in 2026. Not so far in the future now!

From the opening paragraphs set in a warm and comforting kitchen, through the shock of the shadows on the walls, to the sad ending, this story is stunning.

Thank you Patty for the link which I will repeat here. It is very well worth reading!
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,256 reviews1,129 followers
March 9, 2023
This story has a complicated history. It was first published on May 6th 1950, in “Collier’s magazine” and titled “28th April 1985: There Will Come Soft Rains”. Only two weeks later, a revised edition was included as a chapter titled “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” in Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”. The official publication dates for the two versions were only two days apart.

However the most recent edition of “The Martian Chronicles” in 1997 advanced all the dates in the 1950 edition by 31 years, changing the title to “August 2057: There Will Come Soft Rains”. The complete collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury that I have, wisely gives no date, and titles it There Will Come Soft Rains.

As with all good science fiction stories from the 1950s, the vision of the future can be chillingly prescient, but parts from our perspective now seem absurd. Nevertheless, There Will Come Soft Rains is a disturbing and haunting tale. If one can think in the mindset of those 1950s folk, this story is very effective. It gives an hour by hour account of a day in the life of an automated house of the future, in California.

It is “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Sara Teasdale. The poem was written in 1918, and was published during World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic. In 2022 as I write this, it seems very relevant and particularly poignant. The entire poem is included in the story.

The story ends with

Ray Bradbury’s work crosses many genres: often considered as fantasy, and also as Science Fiction. Audrey Niffenegger has included the second version of the story in her 2015 anthology of short stories “Ghostly”. She considered the house itself to be the ghost.

The house certainly has a presence, and in a way is personnified, but I prefer to think of it as realistic Science Fiction. There are many aspects of this story which we can apply to our modern lives, and in this sense it is a parable we should all heed. In 2007 the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded the story a Special Citation, noting:

“While time has (mostly) quelled the likelihood of total annihilation, Bradbury was a lone voice among his contemporaries in contemplating the potentialities of such horrors.”

Ray Bradbury himself considered “There Will Come Soft Rains” as the only story in “The Martian Chronicles” to be a work of science fiction, and in an interview he referred to it as: “the one story that represents the essence of Ray Bradbury”. The story has been adapted many times, including a reading of it in 1975 by Leonard Nimoy. In 2015, shortly after his death, a concept album called “Soft Rains” was released featuring Leonard Nimoy’s 1975 reading, set to music.

Although “There Will Come Soft Rains” is not my favourite tale by this author, it is poignant, even tragic, and unforgettable.

Here is Sara Teasdale’s poem “There Will Come Soft Rains”:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
Profile Image for PattyMacDotComma.
1,487 reviews843 followers
July 18, 2020
“In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunny side up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk.”

YES! The house sounds great. Everything about it is just what you’d have hoped for in 2026, when this takes place.

Don’t read the Goodreads blurb, read the very short story instead. It was written in 1950 by Ray Bradbury, so you know it’s a good one. It’s only a few pages and a tiny PDF file.


Thanks to the Catching Up on Classics group for including this one in their short story selection.

Profile Image for Connie G.
1,738 reviews476 followers
July 3, 2020
Ray Bradbury wrote about a future post-apocalyptic time after a nuclear event destroyed humanity. A smart house is standing with its technology intact, and automated robots still perform their programmed tasks. But fire, a force of nature, attacks the house and destroys it. This is an interesting short story where natural forces will eventually outlast humans and their creations.

Sara Teasdale's beautiful 1918 poem (see below), "There Will Come Soft Rains," is woven into Bradbury's story with the same title. Although it has a timeless quality, Teasdale wrote about humans destroying each other by warfare in World War I. Bradbury wrote his short story in 1950 after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Both literary works show humans destroying each other through war and other means. We are being warned that nature will continue long after humanity is gone.

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows calling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild-plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

---by Sara Teasdale
Profile Image for Sarah.
368 reviews93 followers
September 23, 2022
In five short pages, Ray Bradbury creates and destroys a futuristic microcosm with the stylistic grace and editorial restraint we’ve come to expect from him.

Some days it’s very, very good to be a reader.

Thank you, Phrynne, for providing this story link, which I’ll also share.

Story/Song Pairing: The Earth Died Screaming (Tom Waits)
Profile Image for Kathleen.
Author 1 book165 followers
June 28, 2020
“Until this day, how well the house had kept its peace.”

The memory of this hit me like the proverbial brick. I read it when I was SO YOUNG. So young, at my older brother’s urging. I didn’t really understand, yet the lines have always haunted me: tick tock, time to get up …

I think The Martian Chronicles was maybe one of my first Bradbury books, but I was quite young--under ten, and I don’t remember for sure. But this story--I was at an age where my house was my whole world, and I have never forgotten how it haunted me.

Reading it these many, many years later, I admire the writing of course (the mix of funny and gut-wrenching details), and its prescience. Memories of this story might be the reason why I steer clear of “smart” technology.

But reading it now, after what we have been through with the pandemic, is particularly powerful. Haven’t we just experienced this, from the lines of the included Teasdale poem:

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Profile Image for Bernardo.
71 reviews60 followers
March 22, 2021
“Until this day, how well the house had kept its peace. How carefully it had inquired, ‘Who goes there? What's the password?’ and, getting no answer from lonely foxes and whining cats, it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old-maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia.”

There Will Come Soft Rains is a short story first released as a stand-alone in 1950 and later included in the book The Martian Chronicles. It’s centred around a highly advanced technological house, which performs various autonomous tasks throughout the day, according to an orderly list of daily duties. The house is the protagonist, which might sound weird, and there are no human characters in the story.

There Will Come Soft Rains deals with a theme which was commonly addressed by American science fiction writers in the 1950s and 1960s. Nuclear war was an ever present threat during the Cold War and this story explores its aftermath, but what makes this story superb is Bradbury’s writing, with his descriptions being entirely compelling and transmitting a nostalgic sadness.
Profile Image for ☆LaurA☆.
247 reviews74 followers
September 28, 2023
"Le guerre, sempre più gigantesche, hanno finito per assassinare la Terra."

2026 la Terra, per come la conosciamo noi ora, non esiste più.
L' uomo l'ha distrutta, l'ha resa un mucchio di cenere e macerie.
Tre racconti che ci mostrano un futuro che ormai è alle porte, se non cambiamo direzione la nostra Terra farà la stessa fine. Peccato solo che noi su Marte non ci possiamo andare....e forse è meglio così, rovineremmo anche lui.
January 14, 2021
An interesting story written in 1950 by Bradbury depicting a post-apocalyptic August 4, 2026, where only machines survive a nuclear devastation...the machines keep whirring, speaking, cooking, cleaning, reminding, and serving an extinct humanity...if it wasn't so chilling it would be funny to watch all that animated activity continuing aimlessly ad nauseum...

I'm not keen on science fiction or dystopian, but this succinct five-page story, packs a punch. You can find it here.
Profile Image for Valliya Rennell.
376 reviews236 followers
May 6, 2021
4 stars

A beautiful and haunting short story. It retells Sara Teasdale's poem but in the context of an apocalyptic world. Bradbury's repetition creates an interesting flow for the reader to follow as the narrative becomes darker and darker. Personally, I found this engaging to read and haunting to think about.

There was one description especially that gave me the creeps: the one about the family burned onto the side of the wall.

There Will Come Soft Rains is short but impactful. A must read.
Profile Image for Cheri.
1,798 reviews2,391 followers
September 19, 2020
’Somewhere in the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes.’

’Eight-one, tick-tock, eight-one o’clock, off to school, off to work, run, run, eight-one! But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels. It was raining outside. The weather box on the front door sang quietly: “Rain, rain go away; umbrellas, raincoats for today…” And the rain tapped on the empty house, echoing.’

For much of my pre-high-school years, my grandfather was probably the biggest influence on the books I read, but before then, I was introduced to Ray Bradbury’s books, around the time I was in 4th-5th grade, around the time when I was introduced to Twilight Zone and Rod Serling and his brother Robert, who was also an author, and a friend of my father. I can’t say that Sci-Fi is my favourite genre, but I have really loved or enjoyed everything I’ve read by both Serling and Bradbury. Reading this short story by Bradbury after finishing Migrations wasn’t planned, but I think I enjoyed it all the more for that. I’d been completely absorbed in the world created by Charlotte McConaghy, our world as we know it, along with nature quietly slipping away, and walked into this 1950’s dystopian vision of a future that felt, feels all too imminent.

Many thanks to my friend Kevin, whose review pointed the way to this short fifteen-minute story which can be read free online.

Kevin’s review link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Mia.
336 reviews205 followers
January 23, 2016
Where this short story really soars is its setting; Bradbury creates a haunting, melancholy atmosphere subtly and without using any cheap tricks. The imagery of the house calmly and faithfully carrying out its daily duties while the world crumbles around it is one that will stay in your mind for a long time.

For those of you that have played the video game Fallout 3, there is also an allusion to this story in it. In fact, the developers created their own spin on the famous Ray Bradbury "smart house":

AND if you ask the resident robot to recite a poem, it will recite Sara Teasdale's "There Will Come Soft Rains", as in the story:

Profile Image for Indieflower.
346 reviews113 followers
June 15, 2020
A short, poignant and thought provoking little tale. Ray Bradbury had a very unique style, I read a lot of his stuff when I was a teen and this took me right back. 4 shiny, nostalgic stars and a thank you to my GR friend Kevin for providing the link to a free download for this story 🙂.
Profile Image for ALLEN.
553 reviews121 followers
June 22, 2020
I read this five-page short story for the first time last week. It is heartbreaking and infuriating. In the aftermath of nuclear war, a robotic "smart house" carries on as if nothing had happened. But it is to be the house's last day on earth -- what will happen after that?

The story was first published in 1950 in COLLIER'S magazine. The title is based on a poem by Sara Teasdale.
Profile Image for Sue K H.
362 reviews68 followers
July 2, 2020
This short story is part of The Martian Chronicles. It feels all the more prescient today with everything going on. Bradbury set this in 2026 and while we're not there yet, it barely feels like science fiction. In this apocalyptic tale, technology becomes so advanced that everyone had been moving through their day without having to think. With less thinking comes less empathy & humanity which made the world ripe for destruction.

There's a great poem by Sara Teasdale called War Time that he incorporates into the story:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone."

It's a beautiful poem and a chilling story.
Profile Image for Hákon Gunnarsson.
Author 27 books134 followers
October 19, 2017
I adore this story. It is one of my favorite post-apocalyptic short story. We never know what exactly happened, or why there was an apocalypse. It was a nuclear holocaust, but what had lead up to it remains unclear. Most of the story follows what happens in one house some time after all that is passed. The thing is, the exact timeline leading up to that apocalypse doesn’t matter. It is the mood of the piece that makes it so memorable for me. It is one of the eeriest Ray Bradbury story I have read, and one of those stories that I keep returning to.
Profile Image for Zuky the BookBum.
594 reviews320 followers
April 21, 2017
This is pretty cool, considering it was written in 1950. This is a story about an automated house doing all its programmed chores on a house not affected by the nuclear apocalypse that's left the entire world empty. With things like Amazon's Alexa and other AI things appearing on the market, you can imagine this is the way people will live their lives in the future, with fully automated houses.

This is quite a sad tale really. No matter how advanced our technologies become doesn't mean we're able to escape death and destruction.

I'm sorry I'm bombarding you with short story reviews, I've just really got into them these past couple of days and you can find so many free online, via https://archive.org/ !!
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