Ray Bradbury, one of the most recognizable and monumental science-fiction authors of all time, died Tuesday at the age of 91. He endeared himself with fans through his extensive work, which was full of imagination as well as dark but poignient social commentary, says reporter Becky Krystal:
His body of works, which continued to appear through recent years to terrific reviews, encompassed more than 500 titles, including novels, plays (“Dandelion Wine,” adapted from his 1957 semi-autobiographical novel), children’s books and short stories. His tales were often made into films, including the futuristic story of a book-burning society (director Francois Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451” in 1966), a suspense story about childhood fears (“Something Wicked This Way Comes” in 1983) and the more straightforward alien-attack story (“It Came From Outer Space” in 1953).
He helped write filmmaker John Huston’s 1956 movie adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel “Moby-Dick” and contributed scripts to the TV anthology programs “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Mr. Bradbury hosted his own science-fiction anthology program, “The Ray Bradbury Theater,” from 1985 to 1992 on the HBO and USA cable networks.
“Bradbury took the conventions of the science-fiction genre — time travel, robots, space exploration — and made them signify beyond themselves, giving them a broader and more nuanced emotional appeal to general readers,” said William F. Touponce, a founder and former director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
But what exemplified the writer’s passion perhaps more than what he produced was his passion for books. Almost anyone who picked up a copy of his creations could tell, says ComPost’s Alexandra Petri:
He loved books. He wrote like a man who loved books.
That stampeding sound you hear right now is the noise of the whole Internet dashing off to pen tributes to Mr. Bradbury. And he deserves them, of course. He is one of those writers who makes you want to write.
“What sad news about Ray Bradbury,” we type into our glowing screens, earbuds blocking out all sound, not having read a book in months.
He said so many things so wonderfully that you get lost and dizzy trying to cull a few lines to point to.
But what always shone through Bradbury’s prose was his absolute dominating passion for the book. Even in outer space, his protagonists read Poe. He had more to say about books and writing than about almost anything. (“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”)
Bradbury left us with much more than his volumes of work, however. His examination of what humanity gained and also lost through its ever-growing love of technology resulted in many predictions, several of which showed incredible foresight, says reporter Hayley Tsukayama:
●The people in the “Fahrenheit 451” society sport “seashells” and “thimble radios,” which bear a striking resemblance to earbuds and Bluetooth headsets.