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Sci-Fi Icon Ray Bradbury Dead At 91

 
 
djjd62
 
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 08:58 am
http://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_404h/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2011/04/06/Obituaries/Advance/Images/bradbury2-202.jpg

LOS ANGELES — Ray Bradbury, the science fiction-fantasy master who transformed his childhood dreams and Cold War fears into telepathic Martians, lovesick sea monsters, and, in uncanny detail, the high-tech, book-burning future of “Fahrenheit 451,” has died. He was 91.

He died Tuesday night, his daughter said Wednesday. Alexandra Bradbury did not have additional details.

Although slowed in recent years by a stroke that meant he had to use a wheelchair, Bradbury remained active into his 90s, turning out new novels, plays, screenplays and a volume of poetry. He wrote every day in the basement office of his home in the Cheviot Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles and appeared from time to time at bookstores, public library fundraisers and other literary events around Los Angeles.

His writings ranged from horror and mystery to humor and sympathetic stories about the Irish, blacks and Mexican-Americans. Bradbury also scripted John Huston’s 1956 film version of “Moby Dick” and wrote for “The Twilight Zone” and other television programs, including “The Ray Bradbury Theater,” for which he adapted dozens of his works.

“What I have always been is a hybrid author,” Bradbury said in 2009. “I am completely in love with movies, and I am completely in love with theater, and I am completely in love with libraries.”

Bradbury broke through in 1950 with “The Martian Chronicles,” a series of intertwined stories that satirized capitalism, racism and superpower tensions as it portrayed Earth colonizers destroying an idyllic Martian civilization.

Like Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End” and the Robert Wise film “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” Bradbury’s book was a Cold War morality tale in which imagined lives on other planets serve as commentary on human behavior on Earth. “The Martian Chronicles” has been published in more than 30 languages, was made into a TV miniseries and inspired a computer game.

“The Martian Chronicles” prophesized the banning of books, especially works of fantasy, a theme Bradbury would take on fully in the 1953 release, “Fahrenheit 451.” Inspired by the Cold War, the rise of television and the author’s passion for libraries, it was an apocalyptic narrative of nuclear war abroad and empty pleasure at home, with firefighters assigned to burn books instead of putting blazes out (451 degrees Fahrenheit, Bradbury had been told, was the temperature at which texts went up in flames).

It was Bradbury’s only true science-fiction work, according to the author, who said all his other works should have been classified as fantasy. “It was a book based on real facts and also on my hatred for people who burn books,” he told The Associated Press in 2002.

A futuristic classic often taught alongside George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Bradbury’s novel anticipated iPods, interactive television, electronic surveillance and live, sensational media events, including televised police pursuits. Francois Truffaut directed a 1966 movie version and the book’s title was referenced — without Bradbury’s permission, the author complained — for Michael Moore’s documentary “Fahrenheit 9-11.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/science-fiction-master-ray-bradbury-author-of-fahrenheit-451-martian-chronicles/2012/06/06/gJQAU3udIV_story.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 5,881 • Replies: 19
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:02 am
Always one of my favorites . . . what an imagination!
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:07 am
Bradbury was perhaps my favourite sci-fi writer, his short story collections (s is for space, r is for rocket, the illustrated man, the martian chronicles, dandelion wine) and his novels (something wicked this way comes, fahrenheit 451, the halloween tree) were some of my earliest read and re-read books
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:09 am
@djjd62,
"A Sound of Thunder" completely blew my mind when I was.... 11? Something like that.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:14 am
@djjd62,
Agreed ! One of my faves too. Loved The Illustrated Man.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:17 am
@djjd62,
This is very sad news, very sad indeed. I loved the writings of this man.


I first came across Bradbury as part of an assigned reading of The Illustrated Man when I was in the 9th grade. That was quickly followed (by choice) with Fahrenheit 451 which I kept out of the library well past the return date.

He had a way with words which always brought me into the story.
Letty
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:20 am
Anyone remember Mars is Heaven? Loved all his stories, dj.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:24 am
@Sturgis,
"Bradbury was a close friend of Charles Addams, and Addams illustrated the first of Bradbury's stories about the Elliotts, a family that would resemble Addams' own Addams Family placed in rural Illinois. Bradbury's first story about them was "Homecoming," published in the 1946 Halloween issue of Mademoiselle, with Addams illustrations. He and Addams planned a larger collaborative work that would tell the family's complete history, but it never materialized, and according to a 2001 interview, they went their separate ways. In October 2001, Bradbury published all the Family stories he had written in one book with a connecting narrative, From the "Dust Returned", featuring a wraparound Addams cover of the original 'Homecoming' illustration.

Another close friend was animator Ray Harryhausen. During a BAFTA 2010 awards tribute in honour of Ray Harryhausen's 90th birthday, Bradbury talks of how he first met Harryhausen at Forrest J Ackerman's house when they were both 18 years old. Their shared love for Sci-Fi, King Kong, and the King Vidor directed film The Fountainhead, written by Ayn Rand, was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. These early influences inspired the pair to believe in themselves and affirm their career choices. Since their first meeting they have kept in touch at least once a month, spanning over 70 years of friendship.

Bradbury made regular appearances at science fiction conventions until 2009 when he retired from the circuit on the grounds of old age and lack of energy.

Despite the numerous (and often prescient) technological predictions of his novels, he expressed skepticism about the value of the Internet to society, stating that it has reduced people's ability to communicate and hold conversations with each other.[citation needed] He also exhibited scepticism with regard to modern technology by resisting the conversion of his work into e-books and stating that:


"We have too many cellphones. We've got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now."
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:31 am
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:33 am
@Letty,
Quote:
Anyone remember Mars is Heaven?
I have read it a few times. Each time it has been a delight.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 09:39 am

sure hope he caught a glimpse of the transit of venus last night before he passed.

RIP...
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 03:18 pm
@djjd62,
Quote:
Guillermo del Toro on the Death of Ray Bradbury
I feel lonelier. The world is vast and barren: Bradbury was one of the titans of fantastic fiction and a unique voice in American literature....

http://www.vulture.com/2012/06/guillermo-del-toro-on-death-of-ray-bradbury.html?mid=agenda--20120606
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2012 04:02 pm
@sozobe,
A Sound of Thunder absolutely stunned me as a kid...and I have never forgotten it. Read it again, on line, less than a year ago.

One of the first written works that helped shape the "me" that is right now.

RIP, Ray.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2012 05:52 am
@Letty,
Letty wrote:
Anyone remember Mars is Heaven? Loved all his stories, dj.


i re-read The Martian Chronicles every couple of years, it was the first Bradbury i read as a kid, the opening story, Rocket Summer, is a single page, maybe five paragraph piece of prose, that describes how summer comes instantly to an Ohio (right across the lake from me, and even though the space center was in Florida by the time i read the book, a kid can dream) town as a rocket prepares for take off

the final paragraph

The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhaust. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land...
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2012 06:12 am
Wonderful writer.

RIP Ray

Quote:


Ray Bradbury vs. Political Correctness

The science-fiction author, who died Wednesday, was a fierce critic of thought-control.

By SOHRAB AHMARI

Science-fiction legend Ray Bradbury died in his California home Wednesday, age 91. Bradbury will long endure as a fierce critic of thought control.

His 1953 novel "Fahrenheit 451," a staple of high-school English literature courses, has alerted generations of American students to the threat of censorship and the power of literature to challenge unfree societies. The author imagined a future state in which print books and libraries are subject to burning (the title refers to the temperature at which paper ignites).

Book burnings of the sort depicted by Bradbury had an infamous real-world precedent in the Nazi campaign to rid the Third Reich of "un-German" literature. Today, book and Internet censorship regimes in China, Iran and across the rest of the unfree world serve similar purposes.

Bradbury was equally troubled by subtler censorship regimes, including the pressure to self-censor, taking hold in the free world. Indeed, "Fahrenheit 451" offered a prescient warning against the perils of political correctness. The book-burning program in the novel's universe was conceived in major part to prevent discrete groups and minorities from being offended.

"Bigger the population, the more minorities," fire chief Beatty tells the book's protagonist, Guy Montag. "Don't step on the toes of the dog lovers, the cat lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere."

Across much of the West today, curtailing speech in the interest of "social cohesion" is by no means considered outrageous; it is a core principle of multiculturalism. Be it out of fear of violent backlash from Islamists, or of being dragged before unaccountable human-rights commissions and campus disciplinary committees, many are choosing to hold their tongues on controversial topics.

Bradbury himself would face such pressures. In a coda added to the 1979 edition of the novel, Bradbury raged.

"For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conservationist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics," he wrote. "The tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights end and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule."

Mr. Ahmari is a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at the Journal this summer.


0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2012 09:38 am
I have learned so much about Mr. Bradbury listening to the paeans to him on the radio. In 1951, he wrote a short story entitled "The Fog Horn." John Huston read the story, and on the strength of it, hired Bradbury to write the screenplay for Moby Dick.

(Here's a link to a pdf version of the story: http://www.grammarpunk.com/lit/gp/THE_FOG_HORN.pdf)
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2012 10:28 am
@Setanta,
yesterday while reading some bibliographies i found out that the second story in The Martian Chronicles was first published in Maclean's magazine, i never knew that they published fiction in the early days, it's always been the Canadian version of Time/Newsweek to me
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2012 10:29 am
That would be news to me, too . . .
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2012 04:17 pm
Does anyone here remember The Ray Bradbury theatre?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_bj_bPpWKg&feature=related

Rod Steiger was The Illustrated Man.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2012 04:21 pm
@Letty,
i have the complete Ray Bradbury theater on dvd

been years since i saw Steiger as The Illustrated Man, but remember really enjoying it
0 Replies
 
 

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