“Punishment without Crime” by Ray Bradbury

February 5, 2011
The Book: “Punishment without Crime” by Ray Bradbury. Originally published by Other Worlds Science Stories in March 1950, the story was read in Long after Midnight published by Bantam in 1978.The Setting: Earth, a near future.

The Story: A man murders a shockingly realistic marionette of his estranged wife and is in turn put to death for it.

The Science: One of the things which shocked the main character in this story was how realistic the blood was of the murdered marionette. We have, since the 1950s, made astounding strides in visual effects. I mean, I just saw 127 Hours and the blood and tissue effects were pretty freaking impressive, so to have a robot with realistic flesh and blood is totally conceivable.

The Reaction: I wasn’t feeling this story either. The ending was all too… 1984 thought police-y. The premise of intentionally misplaced murder is nice, but I didn’t feel that the follow through lived up.

The Cover: Same as before.

Next Up: “Forever and the Earth” by Ray Bradbury


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