Author, Ray Bradbury, passed away on June 5, 2012 after a long illness which has affected him since his stroke. A brilliant man, Bradbury was. His works inspiring the work of others since the 1940s. He lived for 91 years, as an idol to writers and a new muse to those who hadn’t known of him before. Although we may get over our sorrow for the loss of a great mind, his stories and books won’t be forgotten.
It has been a pleasure burning with you, Ray. Unfortunately, the flame has drawn to nothing but embers of his existence- the mark he made on this world. The world’s going to miss you, Ray. The one who has told us all to be strong and remember our stories, to make sure you leave your footprint on this world- no matter how dangerous the path. Take the moderate risks in life, Bradbury’s message of putting an end to censorship and banned books will ring in today’s society and hopefully touch the minds of those who think otherwise.
Once described as a "Midwest surrealist", he is generally labeled a science fiction writer. Bradbury resists that categorization, however:
“First of all, I don't write science fiction. I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it's fantasy. It couldn't happen, you see? That's the reason it's going to be around a long time — because it's a Greek myth, and myths have staying power.”
On another occasion, Bradbury observed that the novel touches on the alienation of people by media:
“In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap opera cries, sleep walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.”
"Bradbury’s muse for the better part of his sci-fi career.... On the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal." -Steven Spielberg
"The landscape of the world we live in would have been diminished if we had not had him in our world."-Neil Gaiman
"Ray Bradbury wrote three great novels and three hundred great stories. One of the latter was called 'A Sound of Thunder.' The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant's footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty."-Stephen King
”In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.”
Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, ”Live forever!” Bradbury later said, “I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped”
Thank you, Ray Bradbury.