“Uncle Einar” by Ray Bradbury

October 10, 2010

The Book: “Uncle Einar” by Ray Bradbury.  Originally published in 1947 in Dark Carnival.  The edition read is in R is for Rocket, published by Bantam Books in 1978.


The Setting: Illinois. Earth.

The Story: Uncle Einar, a man(?) with great big functional wings, loses his ability to echolocate after flying into high tension wires and chafes against the domestic life. Then he gets it back.

The Science: Leaving aside the issue of a man with great big wings, there’s the idea of his sixth sense which allowed him to fly safely at night. It’s not explicitly echolocation, but that’s the sense I get from it, or how I would explain it in nice scientific terms. Bats and dolphins echolocate by sending out sounds and gauging the way the noise bounces back – they build a picture of the world around them in this way. Some blind human individuals do this to an extent through clicking or tapping a cane. So imbuing a character who can fly with a sixth sense of this sort is scientifically okey dokey by me.

The Reaction: Another vignette story. It’s fine and short.

The Cover: Same as before.

Next Up: NSF “El Dia de Muerte” by Ray Bradbury


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