A Tribute to Ray Bradbury


Ray Bradbury has passed away at the age of 91. He will be best remembered for classics such as The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, and Something Wicked This Way Comes---all of which in their way defined science fiction, dystopias, and dark fantasy for their time period and have endured as books that easily speak to new readers as well.

Like most writer of my generation, we grew up reading Ray Bradbury, and we grew up thus learning to love the dark tinged with light. Bradbury wasn’t a foolish romantic or a sentimental writer but someone who knew bittersweet from bathos and knew that beauty walks in the night. There’s nothing in the best of his fiction that didn’t feel effortless, and nothing about it that didn’t inspire while also being serious and thoughtful. He had a great career, a great life, and he will be missed by a lot of people.

If Bradbury had only explored the darkness, we might not remember him now, or be celebrating his accomplishments with quite such sadness and respect. If he had been content to plumb the shallows, this might also be the case. But these twinned aspects of his work, in which there is a profound understanding of the mortality of humanity, and the ways in which even small events, small moments, can change us, Bradbury reached for a higher truth.

In such a vast oeuvre there are of course peaks and valleys, but what remains in the reader’s mind about even the least of Bradbury’s works is a certain generosity of spirit, that ability to be optimistic even in darkness, to say that innocence can endure in some form. We sometimes call this quality “childlike” and sometimes “a sense of wonder.” But at base it speaks to a quality of the human imagination, to believe in the best even during the worst of times. Bradbury was a writer with a deep sense of play, a deep engagement with the world, and a deep love of people. He leaves behind a body of work that we all in a sense took for granted, because it had always seemed to be there, and had always seemed right and beautiful and terrible and sublime.

-- Jeff VanderMeer

Leave a Comment

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this blog until approved.

Comments (8)

Foe many years I have read and enjoyed his books. I think I still have some of them,and re-read them.

Posted by: Leslie Pahoff | Sunday June 10, 2012 at 4:16 AM

He wrote some terrific stories and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Posted by: Leslie Pahoff | Sunday June 10, 2012 at 4:20 AM

As a young man I thoroughly enjoyed his stories,and still remember them.

Posted by: Leslie Pahoff | Sunday June 10, 2012 at 4:23 AM

J'aime regarder toutes ces photos de fils jolie :) Je ne peux pas attendre de voir ce que vous tricoter avec tout cela!

Posted by: lunettes soleil prada | Tuesday June 12, 2012 at 2:17 AM

As a teacher, I appreciate the depth and scope of Bradbury's genius. He had the ability to discern both the obvious, the unobvious, and that which might be "there" in both the light and the darkness. Bradbury will forever be immortalized as teachers across the country and the world teach about the human condition through his "unique" perspective.

Posted by: Vicki Russell | Tuesday June 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Ray left his mark on me, beginning in the third grade. When I see kids today reading Harry Potter, that was me reading anything by Ray Bradbury that I could get my hands on. He has been with me my entire life, and I'll never forget the first time time I met him, in a clean and well lighted place: https://dudesatmidlife.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/godspeed-ray/

Posted by: G-Dude | Wednesday June 13, 2012 at 5:53 AM

Det finns olika inlägg som finns nära denna, tror jag tar det hänvisas kunde uppleva gjort den här platsen eller artikeln riktigt informativ. Praktisk Målet uttryck detta inlägg är dålig kvalitet. Bara jag kan uttala det faktum att information som ges här var unik, bara för att verkligen göra det mer i närheten av komplett, stödja med tidigare information som kommer att få faktiskt varit bra. De poäng du har berört listas här är viktigt, vilket Låt mig få syn på många av informationen här för att bygga det faktiskt bra för helt och hållet nybörjare är här. Många tack för denna information. Egentligen hjälp!

Posted by: chaussures shox | Tuesday July 24, 2012 at 2:23 AM

Onlar dəri nəfəs imkan və yaxşı kimi sərin saxlayır, çünki qış eşarplar gəldikdə Cashmere eşarplar ən ümumi edir.

Posted by: abercrombie polo homme | Tuesday August 21, 2012 at 3:08 AM

Lists + Reviews

Best Books Literature + Fiction Nonfiction Kids + Young Adult Mystery, Thriller + Suspense Science Fiction + Fantasy Comics + Graphic Novels Romance Eating + Drinking


Interviews Guest Essays Celebrity Picks

News + Features

News Features Awards


Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review

Feeds Facebook Twitter YouTube