Ray Bradbury, the famous science-fiction/fantasy writer, passed from this world last night; he was ninety-one. His most well-known novel, Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which paper ignites), has often been misinterpreted as a rant against censorship; it was, according to Bradbury, a cautionary tale about how television destroys interest in reading.
[image from listal.com]
I recall many of his short-stories (especially those found in The Martian Chronicles), but one story in particular (All Summer in a Day) has stuck with me because of its poignant ending (which I won’t give away); in the story, a girl’s family emigrates to Venus: the girl hates Venus because it always rains, except once every several years when the sun briefly peeks through the thick cloud-cover. It is a sad story, but it reminds me of Vancouver, where people appreciate sunshine more than most.
Ray Bradbury won many awards, including; the O. Henry Memorial Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, and a Pulitzer Special Citation (2007).
He had some interesting views for a science fiction writer: he disdained video games, ATMs, and the internet, and generally distrusted technology (he had a fear of flying and rode on transit or a bicycle rather than driving).
Ray Bradbury is considered a prime mover of speculative fiction onto the map of mainstream literature.