Science fiction author Ray Bradbury died this morning in Los Angeles at the age of 91. The late author’s grandson, Danny Karapetian, gave the following statement to i09.com:
“If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s memories about him. He influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it’s always really touching and comforting to hear their stories. Your stories. His legacy lives on in his monumental body of books, film, television and theater, but more importantly, in the minds and hearts of anyone who read him, because to read him was to know him. He was the biggest kid I know.”
Ray Douglas Bradbury, born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois, was an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Many of Bradbury’s works have been adapted into television shows or films.
Bradbury’s stories introduced millions to science fiction and a general love of reading. In a lengthy and insightful interview that’s worth a look in remembrance of the author, he told the Paris Review in 2010:
“Science fiction is the fiction of ideas. Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I’m borrowing energy from the ideas themselves. Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.”
Bradbury’s fiction served as cautionary tales about perilous futures. His most-remembered work, Fahrenheit 451 (1953), was a Cold War-era work about the evils of censorship and thought control in a totalitarian state and reached a worldwide audience as a film adaptation by Francois Truffaut in 1966.
“The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me,” he said in 2000.
“The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was 12,” he said on his 80th birthday.
In all, the award-winning writer penned nearly 600 short stories and 30 books, including The Martian Chronicles about human attempts to colonize Mars and the unintended consequences.
International fame followed the 1950 publication of the Chronicles, a novel assembled from a stack of short stories.