“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.” – Ray Bradbury
When Ray Bradbury began writing, fantastic stories were considered junk for children. He disagreed, and he was right, and he proved it.
Much of the writing about him on the internet today calls him a sci-fi writer. But he didn’t like that.
“I’ve written only one book of science fiction,” he said. “All the others are fantasy. Fantasies are things that can’t happen, and science fiction is about things that can happen.”
The book that took place in a world he believed was possible was Fahrenheit 451. Here is a quote from it.
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
Let’s raise a glass of dandelion wine to Ray, who died on the night Venus crossed the sun.
Do you have a personal rememberance of Mr. Bradbury? An anecdote? Leave a comment.