In Praise of Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

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. Here is a short film of the Ray Bradbury books that I have in my library:

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:


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2 Responses to “In Praise of Ray Bradbury”

  1. Sabine Says:

    This is a great item about Ray Bradbury. Keep up the good work, RJ.

  2. charles grant Says:

    I’m a huge Bradbury fan and was upset when he died. now I reread everything he’s written and feel he’s still around… which I suppose is the case. He lives in his work. That’s a lot of RB books.

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