In 1959, the FBI feared Ray Bradbury and science fiction

Trolling around online last night, I jumped over to Reddit and didn't have to look any farther than the first page for an interesting article about Ray Bradbury. Turns out Bradbury was something of a social justice warrior, or as they were known in the late fifties, a communist.

The FBI considered him dangerous for several reasons. One that surprised me regarded Bradbury's novel, The Martian Chronicles, which utilized the “repeated theme that earthmen are despoilers and not developers.” I can only imagine what they thought of Fahrenheit 451 during the height of McCarthyism.

Frankly, the FBI considered the entire field of science fiction to be subversive. Science fiction was a "lucrative field for the introduction of Communist ideology."

The most damning evidence comes from Bradbury himself. In one segment, he was quoted as saying he used the genre of science fiction to “try to bring to light some of the current fallacies in human values today.

My first encounter with science fiction was through Bradbury's work when I was a young adult. He touched on many themes that helped shape my belief system as an adult. He was a vocal champion of libraries, the genre, and for people less fortunate than himself. He fearlessly critiqued society through his fiction.

As should we all.

You can read the entire article here: Who Was Afraid of Ray Bradbury & Science Fiction? The FBI, It Turns Out. You can read the files themselves at MuckRock.