The Venice Historical Society is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a rare personal appearance and lecture by a living Venice literary great, Ray Bradbury. The futurist and science fiction novelist will be the keynote speaker at an anniversary champagne brunch scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 20th, at The Historic Venice Beach House, 15 30th Ave., Venice.

The event will feature live entertainment and a silent auction to raise funds for a proposed Venice Historical Society Museum.

Tickets are $35 for the general public or $30 for Venice Historical Society members.

RAY BRADBURY — Science fiction maven Ray Bradbury, whose novels are part of the literature curriculum in many of the nation’s high school’s, wrote The Martian Chronicles and other works in a house at 660 Venice Blvd. in Venice.

The list of Bradbury’s best known novels includes Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes, all three of which are celebrated works of 20th century American literature.

Bradbury, who turns 86 Tuesday, August 22nd, began publishing short stories in 1943 and a collection of them was published in the book Dark Carnival in 1947.

His time writing The Martian Chronicles in Venice was what led to his first international acclaim and rise as a celebrated novelist. A classic science fiction scenario, the work is centered around an attempt by earthlings to conquer and colonize Mars.

Fahrenheit 451, considered to be Bradbury’s masterpiece, describes a futuristic world of censorship and Orwellian totalitarianism. In the novel, rebels attempt to salvage their culture by memorizing works of literature and philosophy as the zealous fascists in power burn books. The title is said to be the temperature at which book paper begins to burn.

Bradbury has published about 30 books and 600 short stories, according to his Web site.

In recent decades, Bradbury has had a close working relationship with Hollywood producers. Some of the recent Bradbury novels and novellas made into films and TV specials include A Sound of Thunder, The Illustrated Man, Frost and Fire and remakes of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451.

Bradbury was immortalized as a part of Hollywood in 2002 when he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Former Mayor James Hahn used the ceremony to kick off the One Book, One City L.A. reading initiative, which that year encouraged Angelenos to read Fahrenheit 451.

Of his longevity and ever-burning youthful creative fervor, Bradbury has said, “When I look in the mirror, the person staring back at me is a young boy, with a head and a heart filled with dreams and excitement and unquenchable enthusiasm for life.”

Bradbury’s advice for others — “Live a life in which you cram yourself with all kinds of metaphors, all kinds of activities and all kinds of love. And take time to laugh — find something that makes you truly happy — every day of your life. That’s what I’ve done, from my earliest days.”

VENICE HISTORICAL SOCIETY — The Venice Historical Society was founded with the mission of increasing public awareness of Venice’s unique and irreplaceable historical cultural and architectural resources; to promote the preservation of historic structures in Venice neighborhoods; and to enhance the historic features of the area.

Reservations, (310) 967-5170.