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MoPOP Launches Book Club Celebrating Ray Bradbury's 'The Illustrated Man'

MoPOP Book Club 'The Illustrated Man'

"From my beginnings as a boy conjurer I grew up frightening myself so as to frighten others so as to cure the midnight in our souls.” - Ray Bradbury

The year 2020 marks the 100th birthday of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, a member of the Museum of Pop Culture's Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. To commemorate the centennial of Bradbury's birth, MoPOP is launching its first-ever book club. Yeah!

For the next several weeks, we’ll be discussing select stories from Bradbury’s 1951 classic The Illustrated Man in all sorts of ways as well as placing Bradbury in context as a preeminent science fiction master and uncanny predictor of the future.

The story collection seemed like a good choice because it speaks to both our love for science fiction and connects with our newest exhibit Body of Work: Tattoo Culture. Plus, it’s short stories, so it’s way easier to read than an Oprah book or that Alexander Hamilton biography. You’re welcome!

As part of our book club, there will be blog posts to read, virtual discussion around three The Illustrated Man stories, and a watchalong party featuring the wacky 1969 film that follows three of the book’s short stories.

The Illustrated Man short stories we’ll be discussing at our book club events are "The Veldt," "The Rocket Man," and "The Last Night of the World."

Here are the activities:

  • Friday, April 17 @ 4 p.m. PT: 'Ray Bradbury in Context' live online discussion* with MoPOP Senior Curator Brooks Peck in conversation with prolific author Greg Bear
  • Wednesday, April 22: Blog post about tattoos and pop culture by MoPOP Curator Amalia Kozloff
  • Wednesday, April 22 @ 4 p.m.: Happy hour live online discussion* of "The Veldt"
  • Thursday, April 23: Blog post about Bradbury's love for cats, plus instructions on how to make cat toys to benefit our partner, Whisker City
  • Wednesday, April 29 @ 4 p.m.: Happy hour live online watchalong* of The Illustrated Man film (available on Amazon)
  • Wednesday, May 6 @ 4 p.m.: Happy hour live Twitter chat of "The Rocket Man"
  • Wednesday, May 13 @ 4 p.m.: Happy hour live online discussion* of "Last Night of the World"
  • Friday, May 15: Blog post recapping The Illustrated Man book club

* Note: Advance registration is required for all online discussion/watchalong activities. Head to to sign up and learn more

Here's where you can access the book:

So please join us in reading (or re-reading) Bradbury’s classic book of tales. And be sure to bring your children, your students, your family, and your friends along for the ride! Follow our reading adventures right here on our blog, as well as on social media using the #MoPOPDontStop hashtag.

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MoPOP Don't Stop

About the author

Jason is the Director of Education and Programs at MoPOP.