Author Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the age of 91. Many an impending homage will likely refer to him using some form of “Science Fiction writer.” I prefer to think of him as Ray Bradbury, Brilliant Writer. There are at least three reasons I have a special fondness for Ray Bradbury.
- As a self-made intellectual, he wrote the 1971 essay, “How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.”
- I read somewhere that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 while feeding the timer on a public typewriter in the basement of the New York Public Library dime after dime after dime. I didn’t fact-check that detail and I don’t want to know if it isn’t true. It strikes a poetic wistfulness about Perseverance which I have always appreciated.
- The last line of The Martian Chronicles. “The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water…” [Pop Quiz. Who are the Martians? Who are any of us? Why do I find this so profoundly moving?]
When I next see Mars as a little yellow dot in the sky, I will wish upon Ray Bradbury. Thank you, my friend, for helping me see who we are.
Posted by: Heidi