Sound of Thunder

Bradbury, Ray. “A Sound of Thunder.” R is For Rocket. New York: Doubleday, 1952.

This is an incredibly short story that packs a punch. It’s one of those simple as hell stories that makes you think for hours afterwards. Take Concept #1: At the heart of the story is a travel/safari company that advertizes, “Safaris to Any Year in the Past. You Name the Animal. We Take You There. You Kill It.” Let that digest. That alone is definitely something to ponder. Concept #2: The main character of the story, Eckles, wants to kill a dinosaur. Not just any dinosaur, but the king of all prehistoric lizards – the tyrannosaurus rex. Contemplate that. What would it take to kill such a beast? Concept #3: the safari can only kill an animal predestined to die or else the future will hang in the balance. Kill the wrong thing and you might upset the whole apple cart of life as you know it. And guess what, Eckles accidentally kills a butterfly, upsetting the path to the present. Concept #4: before leaving present day Eckles learns that a benevolent leader has just beaten out a tyrannical dictator for President. You can see where this is going.

Reason read: June is National Short Story Month

Author fact: Ray Bradbury’s site is here. I’m sure it’s not the only one dedicated to the writer.

Story trivia: “A Sound of Thunder” was first published in magazines like Playboy (1956).

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Time Travel” (p 220).

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