I woke up this morning to the news that Ray Bradbury had died. It was like losing a second father.
I started reading Ray’s books and short stories in my teens. They took me to fascinating places, both near and far. They let my imagination run wild, and showed me the incredible world of science fiction and fantasy writing. This led to a lifetime of both reading and writing in this genre.
Ray had an incredibly prolific career for over 70 years, which included writing:
- Hundreds of short stories
- Almost fifty books, which included: “Fahrenheit 451,” “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man,”
Dandelion Wine” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”
- Many poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays
- The screenplay for John Huston’s film adaptation of Moby Dick, which won Ray a nomination for an Academy Award
- Adaptations of sixty-five of his stories for television’s The Ray Bradbury Theater
- The teleplay of The Halloween Tree, which won him an Emmy
I’ve read his books over and over again, finding great pleasure in Ray’s vivid imagination. I also love his book “Zen In The Art Of Writing.” It’s packed with valuable lessons for writers, and everyone, on how to live a rich and full life.
Over the years, I was fortunate enough to attend several lectures and book signings by Ray. He was always filled with the wonder and excitement that you see on a child’s face as they explore the world for the first time and discover the magic that is all around them.
As I grew up, I found his stories grew with me. I gleaned new meanings from them as I developed a deeper understanding of life.
When reading his short stories it always felt like I was sitting in my Grandfather’s lap, listening to him recount the adventures of his life. Being awed by stories of great exploits, while simultaneously comforted by spending time with someone I loved.
Ray shaped my youth, and my adult life, and will continue to do so as I travel down life’s path.
A world without Ray is a little less rich, a little less colorful. His writing entertained and inspired me, and I will miss the stories he could have told with more time.
Thank you Ray, for your incredible stories of magic and wonder. They gave me untold hours of pleasure, and contained life lessons that I carry with me every day.
Goodbye Ray. May your next journey be filled with even more wonder than your last.
How has Ray Bradbury touched your life?