Your Uncle Dave can’t even begin to imagine what his life would have been like without having read, starting at age 8, science fiction written by Bradbury and his contemporaries.

Ray Bradbury, whose books took readers on imaginary journeys to the outermost edges of the galaxy without leaving their own back yards, has died at age 91, according to published reports. The author of classic books such as “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles” was born in Waukegan, Ill, on Aug. 22, 1920, the son of a utility lineman. He was living in Los Angeles at the time of his death, his home for the past several decades.

  1. NewformatSux says:

    What, no post about the Wisconsin recall? This site posted early in the morning, when it looked like the Supreme Court guy was thrown out, saying it was a cautionary tale for other governors.
    Now it looks like governors should feel free to rein in the unions.

    Surely the guy whose book was used for the title of a Michael Moore film would want you to post on both sides, and not disappear one side of the story.

    • ugly, constipated, and mean says:

      There has never been a michael moore film with the same name as a bradbury book.

  2. Jim Nightshade says:

    “The rain continued. It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains. It came by the pound and the ton, it hacked at the jungle and cut the trees like scissors and shaved the grass and tunneled the soil and molted the bushes. It shrank men’s hands into the hands of wrinkled apes; it rained a solid glassy rain, and it never stopped.”

  3. Dallas says:

    RIP. I’m sure sales of his writings will increase. I plan on reading the Illustrated Man.

  4. blatherer says:

    I think I read about everything he wrote in the SciFi genre starting at around 8 or 9.

    A true legend, RIP.

  5. Buzz Mega says:

    Ray was an interesting guy in other ways, too. He liked to go out to bars with younger fans. About 30 years ago we went out drinking with a bunch of students in LA, and darned if he didn’t end up cozy with the top looker.

    • ugly, constipated, and mean says:

      I got to be drinking buddies with James P Hogan a few years back. I wrote him some kind of email and by weird (weird weird) coincidence it turned out that he just lived a couple of blocks away from me. I offered to buy him a beer and we ended up doing that regularly.

      I eventually pissed him off by telling one too many irish jokes, but that’s another story.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

        Ha. That is an irritating quality in the Irish. All smug about themselves telling the best stories and jokes. Who wouldn’t get pissed off?

        Went to a recreation of Plymouth Rock Settlement or some such and wifey asked one of the players if they ate food with knives and forks and the character roared with feigned disgust: “Of course we eat with knives and forks, there be no Irish here.”

        I thought that was amusing on several levels.

  6. Jim Nightshade says:

    “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

  7. Jim Nightshade says:

    “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

  8. NewformatSux says:

    But have any of you played a video game based on a Bradbury book? We played an RPG of 451 in middle school.

  9. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

    I may have Bradbury confused with Asimov but I found their books rather ponderous and unreadable. It was Heinlein and Vonnegut that made sci-fi an interesting element in books for me. Probably moreso tv with Robbie the Robot? SkyNet and 2001 with thinking computers as our adversaries? Soylent Green and the future of society??

    Years ago I saw the one episode pilot for a sci fi show. Typical cowboys vs indians in outer space “but” one of the characters was an android who lied, cheated, and killed hooman beings. I said “This could be interesting” but the show was not picked up.

    I don’t like cowboys and indians in space. do like thinking computers as our adversaries. Kinda like the IRS.

    Go Hoomans!!!

    • ugly, constipated, and mean says:

      Bradbury and Asimov were both wordy, and neither would fly. Otherwise very different. Bradbury was flowery, emotional, evocative, poetic. Asimov was more like Tolstoy; never use one sentence when you can use ten. Not much dialog but LOTS of narrative.

      Bite my shiny metal ass. That kind of robot?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

        Thanks Ugly – I think I was talking about Asimov mostly and your reasoning would be mine. “I, Robot” if I remember correctly. But I think I put down Martian Chronicles too. Could not get into either novel. Probably both excellent novels, just not the style I like.

        Nightshade above posted a bit about rain above. Very literary and all novelly and stuff – but I don’t like it. When I read, I want ideas, plot developments, surprises==not a description that goes on for pages about wheat (That was Tolstoy who is also unreadable, but includes all the Russian authors) nor even a paragraph about rain. Its literary filler. Weather never needs to be mentioned unless it blinds you making loading your cyclops killer near impossible. Its how Hemmingway changed American Letters.

    • NobodySpecial says:

      Soylent Green = Harry Harrison’s “Make Room Make Room”, one of the best apocalyptic books in SF.
      Not least for the fact that (spoiler) “Soylent Green is people” is the least scary prediction in it.

      Incidentally, HH is probably the last of the greats left.

      • ugly, constipated, and mean says:

        He isn’t noted for it, but his predictions of the future were sometimes uncanny. Damn terr’ists always screwing things up. I wish the stainless steel rat books had been made into a (decent) movie.

  10. Eideard says:

    One of the best.

    I treasure a penny postcard I received from him in 1952 – with an extra 1¢ added to cover a postage increase – where he said, “an author’s face shouldn’t be displayed too publicly, too often…”

    He’d rather be read – than seen talking about his writing.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

      My brush with fame was even more fleeting. I ran with the bulls in Pamplona in 1969. coming back to our girl friends we saw an old man walking away. Girls said that was James Michner who had shared a bottle of wine with our three GF’s while we guys had run the bulls.

      Years later, it seemed to me that that picnic could have been one of the scenes in Iberia.

      Why the postcard?

  11. McCullough says:

    The Martian Chronicles… personal favorite.

  12. B. Dog says:

    Carmen Ibanez was smoking hot, looked about 451F, in Starship Troopers (the movie).

  13. jim g says:

    All of us Matians everywhere mourn his loss……

  14. NewformatSux says:

    A website that routine steals photoshops without credit, advocates copying movies without permission, paying tribute to a writer who was mad at Michael Moore for stealing the name of his book.

  15. deowll says:

    RIP. May your work long be enjoyed.

  16. jim g says:

    All fans of Ray Bradbury should go out tonite and commit a Halloween prank in his memory!

  17. jpfitz says:

    Why can’t we all get along and just pay respect to a person some of us admired.

    R.I.P. Mr. Bradbury

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

      Most authors, even moreso the Sci-Fi type, do not admire pedestrian ceremonies. Look what Bradbury said: “I’d rather be read ….. ”

      And thats the ONLY respect he would want. How should we offer anything else????

      THINK FOR YOURSELF!!!!!! Thats what Bradbury would want. I don’t actually know that, never got even a postcard, but he wouldn’t be worth reading otherwise.

      don’t you agree?

      • jpfitz says:

        Yes I agree. Read and have respect for the writer if you were entertained or educated. Bradbury was opening my eyes as a youngster, and helped me to think for myself as you said bobbo.

  18. The Watcher says:

    Never really cared for Bradbury, but no dislike, either. A good man’s death diminishes us all….

    (I’d rather read Asimov, Clarke, or Heinlein. Or Rob Sawyer. If you don’t know who Sawyer is, check Amazon – Robert J. Sawyer. Light SF, quick & easy reads, mostly.)

  19. tomdennis says:

    I started reading Science Fiction in 1955.
    Rest in Peace Ray.
    Please Orbit the planet earth for us.

  20. Dallas says:

    A liberal free thinker that would have likely been executed by the church. He will be missed.

    • hmeyers says:

      I think the medieval Church would have executed both of us, but maybe here is not really the right time or place to fan flames. GWB was the one that honored him with an achievement award.

  21. sheila says:

    With all deference and condolences to his family and friends, wouldn’t it be great if he could be buried on Mars?


  22. General Tostada says:

    Loved his stuff from the day I first bought a paperback from the corner general store. It wasn’t just his SF/fantasy skills that got me, either.

    I’ll bet not many in here know of his short stories about Ireland, i.e. “The Beggar on O’Connell Bridge”, “The Anthem Sprinters” etc. Caught the spirit of that world with his witty prose, shows how versatile he was. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

    They were in a collection called The Machinery of Joy, I think…sadly hard to find. I hope they put out a complete anthology like they did with JG Ballard’s work (another genius).

  23. hmeyers says:

    Ray Bradbury was a great man. He wrote science-fiction in a way that appealed to the layman. Fahrenheit 451, several shorts, etc. He had a nostalgia for literature as a work of art.

  24. orchidcup says:

    Bradbury, Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke.

    My library would not be complete without them.

  25. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    The Sony Walkman reminded me of the seashell radios from Fahrenheit 451. One writer wrote that this was a prediction of Bluetooth. Also from that novel were the wall-sized TV sets that didn’t have an off button.

    • CrankyGeeksFan says:

      Ray Bradbury had a respect for the reader that came through in his writing. Other writers wrote science fiction, speculative fiction, etc. Ray Bradbury always seemed to be writing for his reader.


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