1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: "Fahrenheit 451" book cover
AP
Ray Bradbury finally allowed "Fahrenheit 451" to be released in e-book form Tuesday despite his past expressed dislike of the medium.
By
updated 11/29/2011 2:27:12 PM ET 2011-11-29T19:27:12

At age 91, Ray Bradbury is making peace with the future he helped predict.

The science fiction/fantasy author and longtime enemy of the e-book has finally allowed his dystopian classic "Fahrenheit 451" to be published in digital format. Simon & Schuster released the electronic edition Tuesday at a list price of $9.99.

First published in paperback by Ballantine in 1953 and as a hardcover by Simon & Schuster in the 1960s, "Fahrenheit 451" has sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into 33 languages. It imagined a world in which the appetite for new and faster media leads to a decline in reading, and books are banned and burned. Bradbury himself has been an emphatic defender of traditional paper texts, saying that e-books "smell like burned fuel" and calling the Internet nothing but "a big distraction."

"It's meaningless; it's not real," he told The New York Times in 2009. "It's in the air somewhere."

  1. Stories from
    1. Can You Guess the Best Series Emmy Nominations?
    2. Funny Video: Dog Hates the Alarm Clock as Much as You Do
    3. Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp Split
    4. Dave Grohl Welcomes Third Daughter
    5. Matthew McConaughey Wears a Fanny Pack, Defends Its Honor on Live TV

A phone call to Bradbury was not immediately returned. A pre-recorded voicemail message, a woman's voice, warned that the author doesn't usually check his messages.

Story: Penguin suspends library e-books, citing security

Bradbury's agent, Michael Congdon, said Tuesday that rights for Bradbury's book were expiring and that the growing digital market, estimated at 20 percent or higher of overall sales, made a deal for e-books inevitable. A wave of former e-holdouts have changed their minds recently, notably "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling.

"We explained the situation to him (Bradbury) that a new contract wouldn't be possible without e-book rights," said Congdon, who added that six publishers had been interested. "He understood and gave us the right to go ahead."

  1. More in books
    1. Harlan Coben returns with ‘Six Years’
    2. ‘I Would Die 4 U’: How Prince became an icon
    3. ‘Until I Say Good-Bye’: Living for love in the face of ALS
    4. Letters from the life of George H.W. Bush
    5. Mom turns sleeping baby into fairy-tale star

In a statement released Tuesday, Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp said the new e-book was "a rare and wonderful opportunity to continue our relationship with this beloved and canonical author and to bring his works to new a generation of readers and in new formats."

Simon & Schuster also announced that a new paperback edition of "Fahrenheit 451" would go on sale in January. New paperbacks of two other Bradbury favorites, "The Martian Chronicles" and "Illustrated Man" will be available in March.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Nicole Tung / freejamesfoley.org via AP file

    Journalist James Foley's parents 'haunted' by how he died

    8/20/2014 7:35:14 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T19:35:14
  1. Cindy Ord / Getty Images

    6 things I wish I knew before getting a dog

    8/20/2014 5:25:06 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T17:25:06
  1. Savannah Guthrie via Twitter

    Savannah Guthrie, baby Vale send adorable birthday wishes to Al Roker

    8/20/2014 6:43:47 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T18:43:47
  1. Getty Images

    Dear celebrities, please stop straightening your hair!

    8/20/2014 8:31:41 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T20:31:41