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Ray Bradbury, author of ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ dies


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Ray Bradbury, the science fiction-fantasy master who transformed his childhood dreams and Cold War fears into telepathic Martians, lovesick sea monsters, and, in uncanny detail, the high-tech, book-burning future of "Fahrenheit 451," has died. He was 91.

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A true treasure to my life has passed.

Ray Bradbury was THE FIRST! Before Arthur C. Clarke, before Tolkien, before Heinlein, even before H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury was my first contact with the world of science fiction/fantasy.

It is an image that is as clear as the hand in front of my eyes, even though it is a mental snapshot from over 40 years ago. From the years 1968 to 1971, when we lived in a nice suburban house in Westminster, California, there on the family bookshelf in the living room above the fishtank was a nice little row of my dad's collection of Ray Bradbury books; all in those classic Ballantine paperback editions. There were 10 books in all.

"The Martian Chronicles", "The Illustrated Man", "Fahrenheit 451", "Dandelion Wine", "The October Country", "The Golden Apples of the Sun", "R is for Rocket", "S is for Space", "Something Wicked This Way Comes", and "I Sing the Body Electric!".

Many was the time when it was raining or I was otherwise stuck inside, that I would grab one of those books and squirrel away in my room engrossed for hours. I know later on he fell out of favour with some sci-fi fans because they felt he was too old-fashioned or not edgy enough. But when I think of science fiction, he will always be the first name to come to my mind.

Yesterday when I was at the Griffith Park Observatory for the Transit of Venus, he was in my thoughts, for it was reading his books that inculcated my enthusiasm for space and space travel to begin with.

Over the last decade or so, he was always a presence at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. To live 'til 91 is nothing to sneeze at...it's hard to say he was cheated out of time. But this news of his death sure makes it feel like we've been cheated.

Sail on visionary...explorer...literary lion...sail on to the stars and beyond.

Ray Bradbury, I salute you.



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Fahrenheit was a great book, my 7th grade teacher made us read that book. Im very thankful that he did.

This is so weird. I'm at the library right now and Fahrenheit 451 was on the shelf right behind me. I'm going to check it out as I never read it, only seen glimpses of the movie.

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