“The Golden Apples of the Sun” Summary: Ray Bradbury Short Story Synopsis

The Golden Apples of the Sun Summary Ray Bradbury Short Story Synopsis
“The Golden Apples of the Sun” Summary

“The Golden Apples of the Sun” is a short story by Ray Bradbury and is the title story of his 1953 collection. It’s about the captain and crew of a super-cooled rocket ship on a unprecedented mission to the sun. Here’s a summary of “The Golden Apples of the Sun”.

“The Golden Apples of the Sun” Summary

On the order of the captain, the Copa de Oro heads south, although there aren’t any directions in space, toward the sun. The ship is packed with lemonade and beer for the journey. Spirits are high as they near their destination.

The outside temperature is a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. The captain’s desire is to take a piece of the sun. The inside of the ship is kept cold and is lined with ice and frost, and snowflakes blow in the air. The cooling equipment works hard as the temperature gradually climbs to seven thousand degrees. Time and direction seem meaningless as the sun covers every sightline.

Bretton, the first mate, falls to the deck. His protective suit has split and he freezes immediately. It’s a thousand degrees below zero inside. Outside, it jumps to eleven thousand degrees. Icicles on the ceiling start melting. The auxiliary refrigeration pump is down.

A warm shower of rain falls on everyone. The crew rush into action. The captain works on the auxiliary pump himself. He orders that the Cup be prepared. He hands off the repairs to a crewman and puts his hand into the robot Glove that controls the Cup. His motions move it from the bowels of the ship into the sun.

The captain thinks of a primitive man rushing a burning tree limb from a lightning strike back to his cave, bringing summer to his people. He wants to bring the gift of lasting fire to Earth. Compared to this, our knowledge and the atomic bomb are pitiful.

The Cup dips into the sun and scoops out a piece. It retracts slowly. The pump is repaired and restarted. The Cup returns to the ship and the door seals. The water stops dripping and refreezes. The ship turns and retreats from the sun, headed for the cool and dark. Eventually, they might be able to shut down some of the refrigeration units. If it gets cold enough, they might even use the ship’s furnace.

The captain sits by Bretton’s body, feeling sad and good simultaneously. The captain breaks the silence by asking where they’re headed now. The crew knows but waits for him to say it. There’s only one direction from here on out—north. They all smile.

I hope this summary of “The Golden Apples of the Sun” by Ray Bradbury was helpful.