“The Last Night of the World” by Ray Bradbury for Esquire Magazine {Feb. 1951}

[photo courtesy of Esquire Magazine]

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night of the world?”

“What would I do; you mean, seriously?”

“Yes, seriously.”

“I don’t know — I hadn’t thought. She turned the handle of the silver coffeepot toward him and placed the two cups in their saucers.

He poured some coffee. In the background, the two small girls were playing blocks on the parlor rug in the light of the green hurricane lamps. There was an easy, clean aroma of brewed coffee in the evening air.

“Well, better start thinking about it,” he said.

“You don’t mean it?” said his wife.

He nodded.

And so begins this tantalizingly provocative and cognitively delicious short story by the great Ray Bradbury. Originally published for Esquire Magazine in the February 1951 edition of the magazine, the story has recently been posted on the magazine’s website in honor of his June 5th passing.

The author wrote 12 stories in total for the magazine; this one in particular, entitled “The Last Night of the World“, couldn’t be more appropriate for our current social climate. Bradbury always had a way with words, and since  early childhood, his works have always inspired and pushed the boundaries of the imagination.

The “Midwest Surrealist” pushed the boundaries of Science Fiction and Fantasy beyond the borders of the genre into the world of timeless classics by referencing mythology in his work:

First of all, I don’t write science fiction. I’ve only done one science fiction book and that’s Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So “Martian Chronicles” is not science fiction, it’s fantasy. It couldn’t happen, you see? That’s the reason it’s going to be around a long time — because it’s a Greek myth, and myths have staying power.

[SOURCE]

Some of our all-time favorites works include “The Halloween Tree“, “Something Wicked This Way Comes“, and “The Martian Chronicles“- without either, The Eye of Faith may not have even existed! {Now thats scary!}

We are deeply saddened by the loss of this one-of-a-kind talent, but please enjoy the rest of the story, “The Last Night of the World”, in his honor courtesy of Esquire.

+ RAY BRADBURY {AUGUST 22, 1920 – JUNE 5, 2012} +

Sincerely,

{the Eye}

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