I am an avid reader and love using literature as a vehicle to travel to new lands and experience things through my imagination that I’ll never experience in real life.
For that reason, ever since I was 15 and first read Fahrenheit 451 (check out the cool covers for this book!) by Ray Bradbury, I have been enthralled by Bradbury’s writing. After reading this dystopian novel (a classic long before The Hunger Games even existed!) where firemen burned books and an underground society flourished to retain literature in any form possible, I was fixated on Bradbury’s writing. I searched out his short story collections and actually wrote my senior English Independent Study essay on how Bradbury’s short stories foreshadowed (with amazing accuracy!) the development of the US Space Program. Even his dates were really close – it was just mind-boggling!
Speaking of Bradbury’s uncanny ability to look into the future, given our cultural interest in tattooing and body art, you might want to check out The Illustrated Man. Published in 1951, this story still fascinates me!
And the funny thing is, with my reference to Bart Simpson yesterday, I was actually reflecting on how many of Bradbury’s short stories appeared in episodes of The Simpsons. Do you remember the episode where the house falls in love with Marg and tries to kill Homer? Despite what Wikipedia says (I know? How could Wikipedia be wrong???), I contend that this storyline is loosely based on one of Bradbury’s short stories (“There Will Come Soft Rains”). And, if you remember the storyline that involves Homer traveling back in time with a toaster, stepping on something and inadvertently changing the present day, then you are actually experiencing a modified version of the Bradbury short story, “A Sound of Thunder”.
I love the writing of Ray Bradbury – which is ironic because I never liked science fiction before reading his work and Bradbury opened a door to a genre that I now enjoy!
That’s why I was saddened when I read yesterday that Ray Bradbury had passed away. Even though he was 91 years old, he had such a profound impact on my desire to read and appreciate science fiction that I was sad to hear of Bradbury’s death.
RIP Ray Bradbury – you will live on through your writing! Thank you for giving another perspective on the world to young minds like mine!