If you enjoy thought experiments that take you to moody, speculative futures, I highly recommend you read The Illustrated Man.
I found that the short stories in the Illustrated Man collection were often driven more by a place or an idea than a specific character. I really appreciated how Bradbury guided me through each of the strange worlds he plopped me into at a slow pace, which gave me time to contemplate my surroundings.
For me, the stand-out pieces in The Illustrated Man were:
- The Veldt: With increasingly younger kids poking at smartphones and tablets, this story takes the consequences of letting our children be raised by technology to a dark — but potentially logical — conclusion.
- The Long Rain: Four men lost in the endless, unwelcoming rains of Venus search for sanctuary. A beautifully crafted, environment-driven adventure.
- The Rocket Man: An exploration of the ways that the comings and goings of a man who can’t resist the allure of the stars impact his son and wife on Earth.
- The Last Night of the World: A tender, quiet, and honest take on a scenario typically approached with apocalyptic drama.
Although I finished reading these stories in a couple of weeks, the ideas and themes Bradbury surfaced are still on my mind. I expect that they’ll stay there for some time.