American Science Fiction author and king of the dystopian novel, Ray Bradbury, has died at his home in Los Angeles. Bradbury was 91.
Bradbury had an epic body of literary work, over 400 novelettes and short stories, as well as numerous essays on art and culture. He also hosted The Ray Bradbury Theater based on his short stories, but Bradbury was best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, as well as The Martian Chronicles. He considered himself a fantasy writer and did not prefer to be placed in the science fiction category.
His dislike at being labeled a science fiction writer is epitomized by him in this quote:
First of all, I don’t write science fiction. I’ve only done one science fiction book and that’s Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it’s fantasy. It couldn’t happen, you see? That’s the reason it’s going to be around a long time—because it’s a Greek myth, and myths have staying power.
Bradbury received numerous awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2 Emmy Awards, he was a National Medal Of Arts recipient and an asteroid was named “9766 Bradbury” in his honour.
In tribute to the remarkable life & contribution of Ray Bradbury, Different Is Cool is recommending Fahrenheit 451 as our Cool Book Of The Summer.
Fahrenheit 451 was so named for the temperature at which paper ignites. The novel presents a dystopian future America where books are outlawed. [We shudder at the thought - DisC is absolutely anti-censorship, excepting spam pornography (annoying) and hate language.]
However, Bradbury had stated that the novel is not about censorship, but a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of factoids, partial information devoid of context. We’re not sure about that, we happen to believe some of the best storytelling has been provided by television and we LOVE to read literature.
So, if you haven’t read Fahrenheit 451 since high school, or have not yet read it, please consider purchasing this outstanding piece of literature as your literary way to be totally cool in the summer heat.
RIP Ray Bradbury, thank you for your enormous societal contribution, inspiring a generation to care about our planet and its inhabitants and may all your heavenly fantasies be realized.