Now he’s dead at 91. Just wanted to acknowledge that here, since there’s no fiction warehouse anywhere that wouldn’t have a sizeable part of it reserved for the work of Ray Bradbury. Writers like that, you just wish they could write forever.
So long, Mr. Bradbury.
Everybody has their favorite Ray Bradbury books. Mine are Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The October Country. But he never wrote anything that wasn’t pure magic. I never read anything by him that didn’t make me want to go out and write something myself. Of course, it’s never as easy as he made it look.
John H. says
When I was a kid, there were two things that opened my mind to the possibilities of stories: the TV show The Twilight Zone and Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man. These stories are often fantasy, but not fairy tales. They do not always end happily, and sometimes the martians and fantasy creatures are just a mirror of ourselves, slightly warped.
I have read and re-read The Illustrated Man several times, but not in recent years. Last night I took it down and skimmed the story titles. I remembered so many of them clearly. Then I opened to the beginning of “The Fox and the Forest”, which I only vaguely recalled. The first sentence is a perfect example of the poetry of his writing:
“There were fireworks the very first night, things that you should be afraid of perhaps, for they might remind you of other more horrible things, but these were beautiful, rockets that ascended into the ancient soft air of Mexico and shook the stars apart in blue and white fragments.”
Dave Knadler says
That’s a good way to put it. Opening minds to the possibilities of stories is what great writers do best.
That opening passage is a wonderful example of how Bradbury could pull you in.
He did always make me want to write. Spot on there.