Ray Bradbury is one of those talents every genre fan owes an enormous debt to.
He not only inspired many great writers and storytellers, but we wouldn’t have science fiction as we know it without his wonderful imagination. As an author, Bradbury was a force of nature who gave us over twenty seven novels and 600 short stories, a wonderful legacy that will continue to live on forever.
As the L.A. Times note, Bradbury gave the sci-fi genre much needed legitimacy when it was considered little more than cheap pulp novel material. (It would also take a long time before sci-fi became a big deal at the movies with the success of 2001 and Star Wars.)
As Gregory Benford, a physics professor at UC Irvine told the L.A. Times, “Bradbury, in the 40s and 50s, became the name brand.” And indeed, Bradbury’s name is synonymous with classic science fiction, as well as great storytelling to this day.
It’s funny that Bradbury didn’t like computers or the Internet, and only allowed his books to come out as ebooks last year, because many have taken to the Twittersphere to pay homage to the man.
Entertainment Weekly reran many of these Tweets, including comedian Patton Oswalt writing, “Pour out some dandelion wine for Ray Bradbury. See you in October Country.” Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine wrote, “His brilliant sci-fi, especially Fahrenheit 451, is mandatory reading.”
Brad Bird wrote, “RIP Ray Bradbury. See you in the future.” Alyssa Milano wrote, “I’m going to introduce my son to the public library today in honor of Ray Bradbury. #RIP.” And Jonathan Ross wrote, “The GREAT Ray Bradbury has left the planet. When I was younger I read no one else.”
Steven Spielberg also said in a statement, “He was my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career. In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal.” Bradbury was also a big fan of Spielberg’s Close Encounters, and the big Spiel told Ray, “You know, I never would have done this film if I hadn’t seen It Came From Outer Space when I was a kid.” (It Came From Outer Space was based on a Bradbury short story, and it was also the film that inspired John Carpenter to become a director when he was five).
As USA Today reports, President Obama also weighed in on the loss of Bradbury in a statement: “For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury’s death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age. His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imagination could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values. There is not doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”