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 Post subject: Ray Bradbury: RIP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:23 pm 
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One of the greatest and most important authors of our time, the science fiction giant, Ray Bradbury, has passed away. But his books, particularly the classics "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451" live on.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Some of my favorite stories.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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I was never a huge Ray Bradbury fan, but he was a giant and pioneer in the Sci-Fi field. May he rest in peace.

I think my favorite story of his was a short story about a girl on a new planet where the sun only came out once a year (or something). I don't remember the name of it; we read it in elementary school. It has always haunted me. (She was bullied and prevented from seeing the sun, and she remembered it from Earth, I think.)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:51 pm 
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My absolute favourite writer for most of my life. His stories have stayed with me for many decades.

He had a good life, and must have been proud of what he accomplished.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:10 pm 
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When I read his stories as a kid, I understood for the first time that STYLE matters, and not just What Happens. I remember clearly writing Bradbury-esque stories, many of them, after reading MARTIAN CHRONICLES and DANDELION WINE. I wanted to do what he did: His tales were so beautiful and melancholy and haunting!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:07 pm 
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I loved his stories from the start because they made me feel things—joy, sorrow, the regret for things slipping away, things lost. And fear; some of the most frightening short stories I've ever read were Bradbury's.

He didn't tell you everything, or drag the strange aliens out into the light of day so you could see the seams in the plastic masks. One of the most chilling stories I've ever read ended with strong blue light shining through the crack under a door into a closet where people were hiding. Then the door opened, and blue shadows loomed. . . . And that is where it ended.

I just realized I used that strong blue light in a similar scene in one of my books. :) Not consciously at all. As vison says, Bradbury stays with you.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:15 pm 
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When I was a kid, I wanted to write stories that made readers feel the way my favorite authors' books made me feel. I even wrote a dedication for the first book (as yet unwritten). It was a thanks to Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle and Ray Bradbury.

Some of Bradbury's stories were unforgettable, haunting. The mechanized house that kept cleaning itself after nuclear war killed its inhabitants. The butterfly whose death changed history. The carousel that added or took away years.

He fired my imagination and nourished a love for language.

And did you know he wrote the screenplay for the Gregory Peck version of "Moby Dick"?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:16 pm 
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That's because he wrote literature, that happened to come in the form of science fiction and fantasy.

And he had a tremendous sense of honor. I'll never forgive Michael Moore for using the name of Bradbury's most famous book (arguably) for his his film, without having the courtesy of asking him, or even informing him. Even after Bradbury tried to call him and talk to him about it, Moore failed to return the call. As Bradbury said, not just a thief, but a rude thief. That has always stuck with me.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:06 am 
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I always get a pang when an author dies but they aren't really dead, y'know? They left their voices behind. As long as we keep reading, they will linger.

As for Bradbury himself, that scene at the end of Fahrenheit 451, when Montag has escaped the city and is walking along the tracks with the Book People forever lingers in my head. That thing about the phoenix, and how stupid it is, burning itself up only to rise from its ashes. I like to imagine that Bradbury himself is with them now, marching along the railroad tracks, telling stories...and maybe having a sip or two of dandelion wine along the way.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:29 am 
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I remember hearing him say he saw himself as the guy in the tribe who couldn't hunt, being nearly blind and not very athletic, but he felt as a storyteller he would have earned his place by the fire.

No kidding.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:33 am 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Well, I guess I have to eat crow. I didn't realize Ray Bradbury wrote Something Wicked This Way Comes. That's a great book and a great (and terrifyingly creepy) movie.

Now that makes me wonder what else he wrote that I didn't realize he wrote.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:44 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
I think my favorite story of his was a short story about a girl on a new planet where the sun only came out once a year (or something). I don't remember the name of it; we read it in elementary school. It has always haunted me. (She was bullied and prevented from seeing the sun, and she remembered it from Earth, I think.)


That would be "All Summer in a Day", set on Venus. It stuck with me as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:53 pm 
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Bradbury spoke at my university when I was a student, in 1990 or 1991. As I recall, he spoke on the subject of censorship, under which heading he included the strictures of political correctness. I got his autograph for my sister.

Here is a brief remembrance of an editor's work with Bradbury on Fahrenheit 451; the editor, Stanley Kauffmann, went on to become a film critic -- and if I remember aright, reviewed Michael Moore's sticky-titled documentary warmly, not that that means anything.


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