Ray Bradbury (1920 – 2012)
Posted by Patrick Whittaker
So farewell then Ray Bradbury.
I heard the news at about 1 in the morning while I was watching an episode of Stargate Universe. He was 91 when he died and I picture him passing on with a smile on his lips, knowing that he’s lived a full life and brought pleasure to millions. Perhaps a part of him was wondering what now? What comes next?
He was to my mind one of the two greatest short story writers of the post-war years (the other being J.G. Ballard). There’s no questioning the influence he had on other writers, myself included. Indeed, when I’m writing I often ask myself how would Ray Bradbury handle a particular passage. Not that I aim to pastische or emulate him. I have my own writing style but I look to writers like Bradbury and Ballard to show me how to push the envelope. They both set the bar high. I’ll never clear that bar but in trying I become a better writer.
Will I miss Ray Bradbury? Of course not. I only knew him from his works and they’ll be there for me whenever I want them.
Mourn his passing? No. I’d much rather celebrate his life and his legacy. It’s what he’d want.