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. Anna Marie Cardwell: 'I Would Feel Hurt' If Mama June Is Dating My Molester
    2. Chrissy Teigen on Her Tom Yom Soup: 'Thank God You Can't Taste Instagram' (PHOTOS)
    3. Josh Lucas and Jessica Ciencin Henriquez: 'Officially Divorced'
    4. Suspect Jesse Matthew's Relatives 'Pray' for Hannah Graham's Family
    5. Kris Jenner Gets Cozy with a New Man in Las Vegas

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. TODAY

    video Utah town celebrates holidays early for little boy fighting leukemia

    10/25/2014 6:37:54 PM +00:00 2014-10-25T18:37:54
  1. TODAY

    video Meet a couple who fell in love, got engaged, on Instagram

    10/25/2014 6:12:18 PM +00:00 2014-10-25T18:12:18
  1. TODAY

    video 'Make a Difference Day' encourages millions to get out and give back

    10/25/2014 2:33:32 PM +00:00 2014-10-25T14:33:32
  1. United Features Syndicate; Evere

    These are the best Halloween TV movies and specials to watch

    10/25/2014 4:21:23 PM +00:00 2014-10-25T16:21:23
  1. Chris Pizzello / AP

    Katy Perry turns 30! 13 times we celebrated singer's colorful style

    10/25/2014 12:39:21 PM +00:00 2014-10-25T12:39:21