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Thursday, June 7, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury

Of course it was inevitable.  The great science fiction writer, Bradbury was in his 90s, so while I was not surprised that he passed away on Tuesday, I was saddened.

Bradbury is a writer I have always admired.  He wrote fantastical but accessible stories.  I felt a kinship with his world view.  And I adored how he loved the public library with all of his heart.

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all time favorite books.  I have read it at least 10 times, but I refuse to own a copy.  Bradbury wrote the book by feeding dimes in the pay typewriters at the LA Public Library.  As a book all about the importance of books and reading, I feel like I show solidarity with his message by reading public library copies of this book.

Also, back in April, I wrote this "Back List Not to Miss" post about Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Many people have argued that Bradbury is responsible for moving science fiction into the mainstream. He was one of the first genre writers who transcended genre and was simply considered...a writer.  Current authors like Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, and Michael Chabon would not be held up as writers of great literary fiction without Bradbury first paving the way.  They might still be confined to the fringes as "genre writers."

As readers, lovers of great story telling, and, for me at least, librarians, we all owe so much to Bradbury, his vision, his imagination, and his talent. All I want to say is "Thank You."

Already planned before his death, a new collection of stories inspired by Bradbury entitled, Shadow Show, featuring new stories by authors as varied as Margaret Atwood, Joe Hill, and Jacquelyn Mitchard, is coming out in July.  What a fitting tribute to such an amazingly talented man.

Click here for Bradbury's official website.

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