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gailcalled's avatar

How will you mourn Ray Bradbury and also celebrate his life and writings?

Asked by gailcalled (53600 points ) June 6th, 2012

Ry Bradbury died last night at 91. His books were a huge part of my early love of sci-fi and fantasy. Milo and I are celebrating by not burning any books and doing a little extra reading today.

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13 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

There’s no doubt that Bradbury is among those at the top of the science fiction pantheon. He was one of the more difficult science fiction writers, I think. He was among those who focused more on intellectual stories as opposed to more plot driven stories. Hell! He wrote literature! Was Fahrenheit 451 the first science fiction classic to enjoy such widespread popularity in the college classrooms?

How will I mourn him? By writing this and by not burning a book. Although, I wonder what kind of censorship novel he might write in a time of e-books where, potentially, the government could just write a short program and destroy all copies of unwanted books stored in the cloud. Perhaps it would be time to revisit the idea. How does technology change a government’s ability to deny people access to ideas?

marinelife's avatar

I loved Ray Bradbury. I remember reading and inculcating the laws of robotics in his early books. He and Andre Norton shaped my feelings about what science fiction was supposed to be.

I will remember him fondly.

gailcalled's avatar

@marinelife: Isaac Asimov invented the three laws of robotics. Asimov was, IRL, a prof of biochemistry at BU and used accurate science.

Bradbury was more “full-steam ahead and let’s make up whatever we feel like.”

chyna's avatar

Ray Bradbury and Alfred Hitchcock are my earliest memories of reading. He will be sadly missed.

flutherother's avatar

To be honest I thought he was already dead but I have celebrated his writings by rereading The Pedestrian which I first read a lifetime ago.

wildpotato's avatar

I will reread Pillar of Fire. Seems fitting.

@flutherother Thank you for the pdf!

Rarebear's avatar

Reread 451

marinelife's avatar

Ack, you are right @gailcalled. I completely confused the two. I preferred Asimov to Bradbury.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ll likely do some re reading.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

I drove past his house on the way home from work (I live about two miles from where he lived). My book club read Fahrenheit 451 last year, so that was fairly recent. But now I’m thinking maybe I’ll re-read Dandelion Wine.

I’m not generally into or a fan of science fiction, but Bradbury was a fantastic writer, and would probably have written masterpieces in any genre he chose. His legacy is an excellent contribution to humanity.

Earthgirl's avatar

Here
is a good selection of a tiny portion of quotes from the great man’s works.
My first thought is what a great philosopher and shrewd observer of human nature he was. There was something in him that responded to the poignancy of the human condition, it’s big and little ironies. You sense that he loved mankind but was all too aware of our shortcomings and mean spirited bouts of cruelty. That gives his writing a sadness that I really identify with. At the same time it gives it a hopefulness as if he is watching it all and rooting for us, wanting the better angels of our nature to win out.

The Boston Herald quotes him as saying:
“What I have always been is a hybrid author,” Bradbury said in 2009. “I am completely in love with movies, and I am completely in love with theater, and I am completely in love with libraries.”
Gotta love a man like that!!

Last summer I read the book Death is a Lonely Business. It is called a mystery book in some places but it is typical of the uncategorizable nature of Bradbury’s work. There is some beautiful prose mixed in with questionable plot twists and odd unexplained relationships. It is semi-autobiographical they say because it’s about an aspiring sci-fi writer who stumbles on a murder mystery.

Little known facts about Ray Bradbury:

He refused to drive a car or fly in a plane.

The cover on The Illustrated Man is actually an early pic of wundayatta The map on his ass comes alive at night and if you look closely, very closely, you can retrace the steps of Marco Polo across the ancient silk route. Zoom in and you can see the Empress of China in flagrante delicto with her lover. On the opposite ass cheek you can see her modeling for her artist/lover in the nude! If Bradbury hadn’t been so anti-censorship he would have decided against the cover art model altogether. As it was he decided to seat the tattooed model to cover up the most objectionable bits.

filmfann's avatar

I may try to find a DVD of the old Ray Bradbury Theater tv show.

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