“There Will Come Soft Rains” — Silhouettes, Ticking Clocks, and the End of Humanity
If there’s one book that proves genre fiction’s ability to transcend the literary arts world, it’s Ray Bradbury’s classic short story There Will Come Soft Rains. A tale that hauntingly depicts the end of human life through the voice and actions of a futuristic smart house and a destroyed surrounding landscape, Bradbury’s writing is as otherworldly as it is of this world. Originally published in 1950 in the pages of Collier’s, There Will Come Soft Rains was ahead of its time and still manages to grip readers as powerfully as it did when it was released. A quick and easy read, this short story will stick in your memory for years and have you contemplating the world at large long after you’ve turned the final page.
“The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick up flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him, a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down.”