Sunday, August 22, 2010
Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury!
Today prolific author and national treasure, Ray Bradbury turns 90 years old. His work had a tremendous impact on me in my childhood and helped steer me on my path towards being a writer, and certainly steered me towards the types of stories I wanted to tell. Prior to discovering the works of Ray Bradbury in my school library (beginning with S is For Space) while monsters and science fiction were a huge part of my life, my literary leanings were more along the lines of Jack London and Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, stories set in the late 1800s, mostly aboard ships at sea which meet with disaster. Bradbury's work pulled me in in a way no other author did, and I became an instant fan and continue to cherish his work to this day. Alternately earnest and chilling, his stories impacted me because while the situations were not those encountered in everyday life, the people in them were, and at some point I recognized that stories could be as strange as you wanted them to be as long as what was happening was happening to characters who seemed real and acted like real people might in those same circumstances.
I also admire Bradbury for being able to maintain his boyish enthusiasm throughout his entire life without ever having it suppressed, or feeling like he had to suppress it. When I think of Ray Bradbury, I think of Halloween.
Stop by his website to check out both works old and new, and if you haven't seen it yet, take a look at Rachel Bloom's NSFW love letter to Ray Bradbury which he's seen twice and really liked. How could he not? What writer wouldn't want to inspire this sort of reaction from a fan? Bloom has some great insight of her own when she said in a recent interview on Booktryst:
Writers are thus the pinnacle of intelligence. While actors are great and awesome, writers literally create new worlds from scratch. What is sexier than that? Personally, I don't know why every person out there isn't dating a writer.
You can also wish Ray Bradbury a happy birthday by going here.
The above image is by Lou Romano created for the cover of Written By, the magazine of the Writer's Guild of America.