Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder

A Sound of Thunder has been on my reading list for a decade. I got really into science fiction my first year of college at UCSB. Because I’ve been distracted with theatre and film literature, I hadn’t gotten back to reading some good “old-fashioned” Ray Bradbury until now. It’s kind of funny to consider him classic science-fiction since his writing really was futuristic, visionary far beyond what many could have thought when he first started writing; he’s straight-up timeless. In A Sound of Thunder, Bradbury toys with the idea of a time machine that takes hunters on safari to kill dinosaurs.

“Step on a mouse and you leave your print, like a Grand Canyon, across Eternity.”

“But until we do know for certain whether our messing around in Time can make a big roar or a little rustle in history, we’re being careful.”

Interesting concept. From a business standpoint, this sounds like Tesla trying to sell cars first to fund its future space explorations. I’m definitely not sold on the idea. From a scientists perspective, it’s cringe-worthy in the ethical sphere of things. One little misstep and we’re all fucked six ways to Sunday. And, that’s exactly what happens in the book! Revolutionary, insert Ray Bradbury’s unique brand of sarcasm here. One of the time tourists steps on a butterfly. When they return to their time, he lets out a thunderous “Oh fuck!”

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