I’m still stuck on Ray Bradbury.  Reading his short stories makes me see space ships by the side of the freeway and ghosts among the starts …

“R is for Rocket” can be found in the collection of short stories entitled Golden Apples of the Sun.

Why did I like this short story so much?  Bradbury really hits the nail on the head in regards to writing from the perspective of a 15-year old.  I’ve always thought it was hard to write from the perspective of a child.  Children in my short stories always sound like 22-year olds …

Even the title “R is for Rocket” is an allusion to childhood!  The story focuses on a boy named Chris who dreams of being an astronaut.  He is so consumed with the idea that he can think of nothing else.  In his world, astronauts are selected out of the population sometime before age 22.  Chris is in a veritable purgatory of waiting.  He dreams that one day a uniformed man will descend from the sky in a blue helicopter outside his door and take him to the astronaut academy. “R is for Rocket” is full of the normal Bradbury sci-fi elements, but I think the reason this particular story caught my attention was the characterization of Chris.  I could so easily identify with him and feel what he was feeling that I felt my own pulse quicken when the astronaut landed outside his house.  And I likewise felt as if an adventure was about to being in my own life when Chris was taken to the academy.

I would highly recommend this short story.  It will bring to mind your own hopes, dreams, passions, goals, and desires.  And I hope it will inspire you as it has inspired me!