As a writer, Ray Bradbury showed me how it was done. As a young boy, I loved his short stories – The Pedestrian, Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed, The Fog Horn, The Lake, and The Sound of Thunder in particular. As a teenager I loved his collections that masqueraded as novels, such as The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles. As a man I love his novels: Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Death is a Lonely Business, A Graveyard For Lunatics, and most recently, Farewell Summer.
However, I admire Ray Bradbury for more than just his writing talent. I admire him for having the courage to live as a writer, to spend his time writing, writing, writing – and not really bothering about anything else. I also admire him because he abandoned formal education and educated himself in the library – and then became a very successful writer.
As a writer he was prolific – novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, film scripts and teleplays. He has written many of each. As a person, he was a living legend.
Ray Bradbury was born in 1920, He died today (5/6/12) aged 91. Until today, he was still writing and still enjoying his life. He said in a recent interview that it was his love of writing that kept him young.
Here is a bibliography:
(1950) The Martian Chronicles
(1953) Fahrenheit 451
(1957) Dandelion Wine
(1962) Something Wicked This Way Comes
(1972) The Halloween Tree
(1985) Death Is a Lonely Business
(1990) A Graveyard for Lunatics
(1992) Green Shadows, White Whale
(2001) From the Dust Returned
(2004) Let’s All Kill Constance
(2006) Farewell Summer
Short Story Collections:
(1947) Dark Carnival
(1951) The Illustrated Man
(1953) The Golden Apples of the Sun
(1955) The October Country
(1959) A Medicine for Melancholy
(1959) The Day It Rained Forever
(1962) The Small Assassin
(1964) The Machineries of Joy
(1969) I Sing The Body Electric
(1976) Long After Midnight
(1980) One Timeless Spring
(1983) Dinosaur Tales
(1984) A Memory of Murder
(1988) The Toynbee Convector
(1996) Quicker Than The Eye
(1997) Driving Blind
(2002) One More for the Road
(2004) The Cat’s Pyjamas
(2007) Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band is Playing & Leviathan ’99
(2007) Summer Morning, Summer Night
(2009) We’ll Always Have Paris
Through each new book, I grew up with Ray Bradbury. He has a place in my heart and in my mind that no other writer has. He is the most important person to me in terms of literary influence; possibly more important than J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, William S. Burroughs, Anna Kavan, or even Ayn Rand, who was so important to me that I dedicated my first novel, Myth, to her.
There is a wonderful piece of film in which Ray Bradbury talks to university students about writing. It is witty and informative – and at times very profound. It is worth watching for Bradbury’s insights into writing. Here it is: