Ray Bradbury Dies at 91: Science Fiction Loses a Grand Master

By June 6, 2012

Author Ray Bradbury died last night at age 91, his daughter confirmed to the Associated Press this morning.

Born August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, Bradbury grew to become one of a handful of science fiction writers considered the Grand Masters of the field, even though he considered his work fantasy. “I’m not a science fiction writer,” he has said. “I’ve written only one book of science fiction [Fahrenheit 451]. All the others are fantasy. Fantasies are things that can’t happen, and science fiction is about things that can happen.” His dozens of novels and more than 600 short stories also include quite a bit of horror within the range of his speculative fiction. His most famous works include The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

When I attended my first Comic-Con in 2007, Bradbury was one of the first people I saw there. I have photos, but they’re not how you’d want to remember him. When he got wheeled past me in his chair, he looks as disconnected from the world as Captain Christopher Pike in the only Star Trek (original series) two-parter, “The Menagerie,” and yet despite his body’s invalid condition, his great mind stayed busy. He kept writing because he kept thinking. The man whose collection The Martian Chronicles taught me how dark and thought-provoking sci-fi could be was truly an amazing individual.

Those are my most personal Ray Bradbury memories. I’d love to hear yours. Share them here. You can also tweet them to me (@Superherologist) or to @GeekNation.

Photo source: L.A. Times.

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GeekNation friend Travis Langley is the author of the best-selling book Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight.