Saturday, August 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Ray Bradbury!

I’ve written about Ray Bradbury at least a half dozen times on this blog, and Monday 8/22 is his birthday, so I figured I’d just dedicate this post to him.

Some of my first memories of books revolve around Mr. Bradbury. As a small child I recall playing on the floor of my father’s den while my dad read Bradbury books. I could always tell Ray’s books—they were the ones with the skulls and rockets and dinosaurs on the back cover. Even before I could read I was intrigued by what might be inside. Later, when I was finally old enough to start reading on my own, I couldn’t help but gravitate back towards books like “The Illustrated Man” and “Golden Apples of the Sun.” After reading one book I had to move on and read the next.

Ray is one of the many authors who have inspired me as a writer. What do I like most about Ray Bradbury’s writing? Three words come to mind: poetry, darkness and foresight. The images he conjures in his stories are something I aspire to. His vision and ability to see into the dark places in the everyday human world and at times predict the future with his writing are also amazing to me. These words, writing advice from his book, “Zen in the Art of Writing,” hang over my desk as my writing mantra, WORK, RELAX, DON’T THINK.

I could go on and on about his works and accomplishments, but instead I encourage you to check out some of the links below that speak for themselves.

In conclusion—Happy Birthday, Ray! Thank you for all your imagination, inspiration and influence on the world of fiction.

Sam Weller, discusses Bradbury's accomplishments in science fiction

Links to some great Bradbury short stories:

The Fog Horn

All Summer in a Day

The Veldt (the first holodeck story?)

A Sound of Thunder

The October Game

Ray Bradbury Maternity Shirts

On Writing:

Ray Bradbury on Writing Persistently

Ray Bradbury Quotes:

“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

“Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.”

“Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.”

“Recreate the world in your own image and make it better for your having been here.”

“Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made up or paid for in factories.”

“Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.”

“My job is to help you fall in love.” ~ Ray Bradbury


Qlaudie said...

Love it, Mark, and I love me some Ray!

Jon said...

Nice work, Mark. I hope he enjoys our book.

Ray Bradbury Quotes said...

I have compiled some quotes from you. Thanks a lot for doing this job!!