Ray of brilliance

Author Bradbury penned the favorite sci-fi and fantasy classics we grew up with

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When Ray Bradbury was 12 years old, at a circus in Waukegan, Ill., he met a magician named Mr. Electrico, who tapped him with his wand and told him, “Live forever!”

“I decided that was the greatest idea I ever heard,” Bradbury recalled years later. “I started writing every day. I never stopped.”

The magician’s wand did its best against mortality. Bradbury – the 20th century’s most enduring and endearing science-fiction and fantasy author – died June 5 at age 91.

But of course, the spell really did come true. Through his unforgettable books and short stories, Bradbury most likely will live forever.

He penned a masterpiece still being taught in schools: Fahrenheit 451, one of the ultimate books about books – specifically censorship and a chilling futurescape in which books are outlawed.

Three years before that, in 1950, was his first big literary hit – The Martian Chronicles, a collection of short stories about Earth colonizers’ conflicts with an ancient civilization on Mars. In that construct, he took on contemporary issues such as racism, capitalism and the emerging superpower race of that decade.

Odds are, if you find a Bradbury book it won’t be in the best condition. That’s because fans read and re-read his books so often. The many collections of his short stories – R is for Rocket, or A Medicine for Melancholy, or The Golden Apples of the Sun – are revisited with the affection with which you would drop in on an old friend.

In a sense, he always remained that charmed 12-year-old, sharing the breadth of his imagination with generations of readers. For that, we’ll always be grateful.

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Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 06/13/12 - 02:47 am
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jwarner6
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jwarner6 06/13/12 - 06:58 am
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Favored Author

I grew up reading most of what Ray Bradbury wrote. Fahrenheit 451 was a thought provoking novel that stays with me even almost fifty years later.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/13/12 - 12:22 pm
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I admire all authors and

I admire all authors and their attempts to leave something for the rest of us, but science fiction is my least favorite genre. Those infatuated with SciFi, Star Wars, Star Trek and the other starries have a serious desire to be beamed somewhere other than earth. Just my view from my little Class M Planet in my Galactic Quadrant.

burninater
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burninater 06/13/12 - 12:31 pm
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Well Riverman, I suppose the

Well Riverman, I suppose the same could be said for any devotee of a messianic religion.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/13/12 - 01:52 pm
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Burn, haha, but we just don't

Burn, haha, but we just don't call it being beamed up. We rise up or go down depending on your scorecard.

burninater
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burninater 06/13/12 - 01:53 pm
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;-)

;-)

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 06/13/12 - 09:35 pm
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These guys sometimes do seem

These guys sometimes do seem to have a window into the future; writing about things that do come to pass.

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