Whenever you come up with a short list of science fiction authors, Ray Bradbury is on that list, although he didn’t like to be called one. He’s one of the few authors that almost everyone has read, as part of school reading. He wrote such classics as The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. The SFWA has an award named after him, as is an asteroid. He has an Emmy Award, and a National Medal of Arts, among many others. He influenced many in various forms of media.
Ray Bradbury passed away last night peacefully at the age of 91.
The White House even released a statement from President Barack Obama.
“For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury’s death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age. His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values. There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
There was only SF book I recall reading as a child in school that everyone was required to read in class, The Martian Chronicles – and we read one of the stories in short story form separately. I also remember Dandelion Wine being required reading, something of a fictionalized version of his childhood. I remember the TV miniseries adaptation of The Martian Chronicles, and an episode of Ray Bradbury Theater that adapted the same short story.
Although TV and movie based SF dominated my childhood, Ray Bradbury dominated the written SF, and pressed me on to other other authors like Asimov and Niven.
Ray, you will be missed.