Bradbury lets 'Farenheit 451' join e-book revolution

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The Independent Culture

Ray Bradbury, the author of science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451, had always forbidden his book from being published electronically, claiming e-books "smell like burned fuel". But now the author, 91, has caved in under pressure from his publisher.

Bradbury, whose novel became a bestseller on publication in 1953, had spoken out against the idea. "I was approached three times during the last year," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2010. "I said to Yahoo: 'Prick up your ears and go to hell.'"

However, faced with the "unavoidable" renegotiation of a publishing contract with Simon & Schuster being wrangled over by his agent, Michael Congdon, the author has changed his mind. "We explained the situation to him. That a new contract wouldn't be possible without e-book rights," said Mr Congdon.

Previously, Bradbury had complained about the spread of modern technology. "We have too many mobile phones," he said. "We have too many machines now."