Ray Bradbury, the highly-influential author of such literary classics as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, has passed away at the age of 91. Bradbury was one of the giants of the science-fiction genre by using his grand imagination to not only paint vivid worlds filled with interesting characters, but to explore deeper questions about society and ourselves. I had to read loads of crappy fiction through my time in middle school, but Fahrenheit 451 had me enraptured throughout. Bradbury’s massive bibliography of novels, novellas, and short stories have been adapted into motion pictures since 1953’s It Came from Outer Space, and his stories also found their way to the stage, television, comics, and miniseries.
Hit the jump for a statement from Bradbury’s grandson Danny Karapetian. Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Bradbury’s family and friends.
Danny Karapetian released the following statement to io9:
“If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s memories about him. He influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it’s always really touching and comforting to hear their stories. Your stories. His legacy lives on in his monumental body of books, film, television and theater, but more importantly, in the minds and hearts of anyone who read him, because to read him was to know him. He was the biggest kid I know.”
If you’re looking for any single passage to remember him by, I just picked up my copy of The Illustrated Man, my favorite of his books. The introduction is entitled “Dancing, So As Not to Be Dead,” and there are some great lines about death. My favorite:
“My tunes and numbers are here. They have filled my years, the years when I refused to die. And in order to do that I wrote, I wrote, I wrote, at noon or 3:00 A.M.
So as not to be dead.”
I’m an actor, something he was always been really proud of, and told me once, after getting cast in a play. “You’re living out my life! You’re doing everything I wanted to do but couldn’t!” He was such a driving force in my life, but what always fascinated me were his impact on others. How his stories lifted people up and saved them from lonely summers. Who among us was never buried deep in a Bradbury story, lost in his meticulously yet effortlessly crafted metaphor?
Steven Spielberg issued the following statement on Bradbury’s passing:
“He was my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career. He lives on through his legion of fans. In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal.”