Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This is England, and so rain is hardly unexpected. Especially in April, the month traditionally associated with showers.

However, we haven't had very much rain - statistically and historically speaking - in the last two years, and so the Authorities (with a capital A) have declared an official drought. This must be laughable to those who live in, say, Ethiopia. All it means is that the UK water table is at a low level for the time of year, and if the dry spell keeps on we will faced with water shortages very soon. Several areas of the UK are under a hosepipe ban right now, meaning it is against the law to use a hosepipe or sprinkler to water that front lawn.

And, right on cue, it started raining about a week ago and has barely stopped. Today especially there has been an almost endless torrent where I am. It reminds me, of course, of the Bradbury story "The Long Rain".

"The Long Rain" first appeared in Planet Stories magazine in1950. Today you can find it in Bradbury's collections R is for Rocket and The Illustrated Man. It's set on the planet Venus, and is built on the science fiction conception of Venus as some kind of lush rain forest. The story deals with an astronaut who has to travel through the endless rains of Venus to reach the safe haven of a Sun Dome.

If you are stuck indoors, staring out at the rain and wondering what to do, you could always try a bit of homework. Here's a lesson-plan found online which should prompt you to start writing your own story in the style of Bradbury!

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