Bradbury Chess

Aug 17, 2012, 9:57 PM |

Following are some excerpts regarding chess by the author Ray Bradbury ...... If you havent already, go to your library and read Fahrenheit 451 (its a classic...not for the chess) and Farewell Summer (for a great read ...and lots of chess = battle of young VS old metaphors).....


1. The Martian Chronicles (1950 Novel)


She didn't watch the dead, ancient bone-chess cities slide under, or the old canals filled with emptiness and dreams. Past dry rivers and dry lakes they flew, like a shadow of the moon, like a torch burning. She watched only the sky.


The captain picked up his gun. He watched the running, hiding men. He looked at the towers of the little clean Martian village, like sharply carved chess pieces lying in the afternoon.


The wind hurled the sand ship keening over the dead sea bottom, over long-buried crystals, past upended pillars, past deserted docks of marble and brass, past dead white chess cities, past purple foothills, into distance. The figures of the Martian ships receded and then began to pace Sam's ship.


They were passing a little white chess city, and in his frustration, in his rage, he sent six bullets crashing among the crystal towers. The city dissolved in a shower of ancient glass and splintered quartz. It fell away like carved soap, shattered. It was no more. He laughed and fired again, and one last tower, one last chess piece, took fire, ignited, and in blue flinders went up to the stars.


"I didn't do anything!" Sam looked at all the faces, one hundred in all, that surrounded him. There weren't many Martians left on Mars- one hundred, one hundred and fifty, all told. And most of them were here now, on the dead seas, in their resurrected ships, by their dead chess cities, one of which had just fallen like some fragile vase hit by a pebble.


The Martian mountains lay all around, millions of years old. Starlight glittered on the spires of a little Martian town, no bigger than a game of chess, in the blue hills.


2. The Illustrated Man (1951 Novel)

flaps of his sliced skin were pinned to the table while hands shifted parts of his body like a quick and curious player of chess, using the red pawns and the red pieces.

3. A Sound of Thunder (1952 Short Story)

 What sort of world it was now, there was no telling. He could feel them moving there, beyond the walls, almost, like so many chess pieces blown in a dry wind ....

4. Fahrenheit 451 (1953 Novel)

 With an effort, Montag reminded himself again that this was no fictional episode to be watched on his run to the river; it was in actuality his own chess-game he was witnessing, move by move.

5. Dandelion Wine (1957 Novel)

He made careful stacks of nickels, dimes, and quarters on the counter, like someone playing chess and worried if the next move carried him out into sun or deep into shadow.

There sat Saul and Marshall, playing chess at the coffee table.

Her husband had owned rental property in a number of towns, and, like a yellow ivory chess piece, she had moved and sold one after another, until now she was here in a strange town, left with only the trunks and furniture, dark and ugly, crouched about her like the creatures of a primordial zoo.

Over the years, they had destroyed all of him, removing hands, arms, and legs and leaving him with substitutes as delicate and useless as chess pieces.

6. Death is a Lonely Business (1985 Novel)

a lovely chess game carved and set in a store window when you were a kid.

7. BIG BLUE Quote (Nov 8, 1997)

The Big Blue “victory” was a lot of nonsense. The computer did not win that chess game. It was won by a dozen men who put their moves into the equipment. It was a false game from the very start. If you have 12 chess masters opposed by 1, it’s unfair. No papers pointed this out. The machine didn’t do the work; the men did. Computers are the creation of mankind. Mankind put the information in and takes it out.

8. Farewell Summer (2006 Novel)

... now I see what our real problem is. Down outside the courthouse, all those terrible old men playing chess.

we're on the chessboard! cried Douglas. Those chess pieces, those chessmen, those are us! The old guys move us on the squares, the streets! All our lives we've been there, trapped on the chessboards in the square, with them shoving us around.

No chess game was ever won by the player who sat for a lifetime thinking over his next move.