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Jun 06 2012

Ray Bradbury — not in June!

Something offends me about the fact that Ray Bradbury has died in June — October would have been more appropriate, with the ground covered with dead leaves that swished as you walked through them, and the sound of a train in the distance as twilight settles and lovely dark things stir in the greyness.

45 comments

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  1. 1
    Pteryxx

    Oh no.

    …Bradbury also wrote about the heat and freedom of summers, too. I tell myself he died during the Venus transit. <_<

  2. 2
    otrame

    He was an incredibly evocative writer. Well done, Ray. As your atoms wander off to do something else, we will remember you.

  3. 3
    Randomfactor

    Too bad there’s no such thing as a Transit of Mars…yet.

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    Death is an unsentimental jerk.

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5
    anuran

    Farewell Summer

  6. 6
    scaryduck

    Dammit. What a writer.

  7. 7
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Oh, man. I didn’t knew this could make me so sad.

  8. 8
    Desert Son, OM

    Since I’ll now never get to say it in person, thanks for Fahrenheit 451, Ray. As a young reader, it was an important illustration of the dangers of ignorance, the importance of literacy.

    Ironic that so many “people of the Book” are so often the ones wielding firehoses and leading hounds.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  9. 9
    Brother Yam

    I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.

    What a quote. What an author.

    What a loss…

    G’bye Ray.

  10. 10
    jand

    Maybe a good way to remember and honor a sexy 90-year old

    talent is hot

  11. 11
    jand

    oh shit sorry it should have been just the link…

  12. 12
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    My husband just called me to tell me the news.

    Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors. I’m heartbroken.

  13. 13
    interrobang

    Oh jeez. As much as I disliked his conservatism and the many religious references in his work, I had some fun times with it as well. I’ll never forget the first time I read “Mars is Heaven.”

  14. 14
    mythbri

    “Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.”
    ― Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

  15. 15
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”

    An apt Bradbury quote for these times.

  16. 16
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    It’s almost hilarious, the irony of learning of Bradbury’s death via the internet and computers. He’d probably appreciate it if he weren’t dead and didn’t hate them so much.

    Ah, so long, Ray. Death is a lonely business, n’est-ce pas?

  17. 17
    magistramarla

    I met him at the Cal Tech graduation in 2000 – impressive gentleman. I agree that it is very fitting that he left with the Venus transit.

  18. 18
    Die Anyway

    I started reading SciFi right around 1960 when I was 13. Heinlein, Asimov, Pohl, and of course Ray Bradbury. I’m convinced that their stories, especially ones like Fahrenheit 451, have shaped the rest of my life. It’s been a shame to lose a lot of those great writers, dare I say ‘philosophers’ really, but I have to say that Bradbury making it to age 91 was pretty damn good. We won’t all get that many years alloted to us.

  19. 19
    tbp1

    I don’t read a lot of SF or fantasy these days, but Bradbury was a biggie for me when I was a teenager. I don’t think he had published anything for a long time, and I’ve never quite understood the Fahrenheit 9/11 flap with Michael Moore, but I am still saddened. He had a lyric quality few, if any, SF writers could match.

  20. 20
    nooneinparticular

    Despite the tenor of some of his work he was not, to me, a pessimist.

    “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds.”

    So long, RB. It was a fun ride.

  21. 21
    Gregory in Seattle

    We should remember that Bradbury did not consider himself a genre writer: he wrote what he liked and damn classification. If anything, he classed himself as a fantasy writer:

    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.

    I didn’t care for his political views, but he was a great, thought provoking writer.

  22. 22
    addiepray

    I wrote to him a few years ago asking for permission to use one of his stories, “the scythe” as the basis for an animated film i wanted to make. I expected a form letter in response but instead got a very nice personal letter from the man (though I was disappointed that the gist of the letter was that the rights to that story were tied up and unavailable). I haven’t opened one of his books in a very long time (love the short stories, but never cared much for his novels, truth be told) but I may have to crack “Martian Chronicles” or “The October Country” tonight.

  23. 23
    Sandiseattle

    Sad that, loved his works.

  24. 24
    Dabu

    Someone wicked that way goes.

    Wickedly talented, that is.

  25. 25
    Sili

    So it goes.

    Presumably he’ll stop suing Michael Moore now.

  26. 26
    md

    A sincere Good On Ya, PZ, for saying something nice about a conservative.

  27. 27
    Larry

    ABC – Azimov, Bradbury, Clarke

    Three authors of my mis-spent youth all of whom contributed greatly to my interest in science, space, and reading. Now, sadly, all silent.

  28. 28
    NitricAcid

    I’ve always wanted to make a wine from dandelions and honey, so that I could label it “A Metheglin for Melancholy”.

  29. 29
    SQB

    One of my favorite stories by Ray Bradbury is The Sound of Summer Running. A great author.

  30. 30
    cicely

    :’(

  31. 31
    anuran

    #28 – Then why don’t you? What better reason than to commemorate the passing of a great writer?

  32. 32
    arbor

    I grew up reading and loving Bradbury.

    He had a lot to do with my learning to love reading and, much later, writing.

    I am so glad he lived and wrote.

  33. 33
    Part-Time Insomniac

    RIP Ray Bradbury. Thanks for the books and good times.

  34. 34
    madscientist

    He’ll be sorely missed – especially by folks who knew him. Mark Edward wrote a few words around his 90th birthday:

    http://www.skepticblog.org/author/edward/page/3/

  35. 35
    DLC

    News of Ray Bradbury’s passing definitely was something wicked.
    He will be missed.

  36. 36
    NitricAcid

    #31- because I’m usually very busy during dandelion season, and it’s tough to find enough in areas that haven’t been sprayed.

  37. 37
    stargrave

    i like it as june. the fist chapter of the martian chronicles is called Rocket summer. with spaceX linking up with the ISS i think of it as a rocket summer.

  38. 38
    anuran

    Nitric Acid, today is your lucky day. You can get Dandelion Essence and add it to your metheglin like you would other flavorings.

  39. 39
    jasonbrown

    Northern Hemispherist!

    It’s June down here too, but it’s also dark, cold, with leaves on the ground, and occasionally stormy. Atmospheric, in fact.

  40. 40
    Menyambal

    It’s June, and Douglas wants new tennis shoes for the new summer:

    “Dad!” He blurted it out. “Back there in that window, those Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Shoes…”

    His father didn’t even turn. “Suppose you tell me why you need a new pair of sneakers. Can you do that?”

    “Well…”

    It was because they felt the way it feels every summer when you take off your shoes for the first time and run in the grass. They felt like it feels sticking your feet out of the hot covers in wintertime to let the cold wind from the open window blow on them suddenly and you let them stay out a long time until you pull them back in under the covers again to feel them, like packed snow. The tennis shoes felt like it always feels the first time every year wading in the slow waters of the creek and seeing your feet below, half an inch further downstream, with refraction, than the real part of you above water.

    “Dad,” said Douglas, “it’s hard to explain.”

    Somehow the people who made tennis shoes knew what boys needed and wanted. They put marshmallows and coiled springs in the soles and they wove the rest out of grasses bleached and fired in the wilderness. Somewhere deep in the soft loam of the shoes the thin hard sinews of the buck deer were hidden. The people that made the shoes must have watched a lot of winds blow the trees and a lot of rivers going down to the lakes. Whatever it was, it was in the shoes, and it was summer.

    I just read The Sound of Summer Running from Dandelion Wine to my wife. Like a lot of people, she’d never heard of Bradbury’s happier work.

    I’d like to imagine Ray Bradbury arriving at the afterlife on a June morning, and being given a new pair of Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Shoes.

  41. 41
    Crudely Wrott

    I wept for the sorrow of my loss when Asimov died and when death came to Heinlein, Sturgeon, Vonnegut, Clarke and so many more SF writers who helped me to forge my awareness and carve out my compassion and build my joy in this short, brutal life.

    Again I weep, this time for my loss of Ray Bradbury. Not for his dying, oh, no. Such is to be expected for all. The tears are because I can no longer take for granted that he, like the others, are no longer active agents in my world, ready to guide and inform me, to take me beyond my small life with new tales, unique visions, unexpected poetry.

    What is the saving wonder and the greater value is that in a few days I’ll realize that he has not really gone. His body of work is as alive as he ever was. In the weeks and months to come new bought volumes of his will sleep on my chest as I dream of elegant sailing ships and circus tents. He will most definitely live on in a very real way that we also can achieve because he shows us ourselves, shows us how.

    Ray and the ones mentioned above may have gone before us but they will always remain a step ahead of us, gently calling, leading us along a narrow road through a misty night, pointing to the faint glimmer ahead. And always, always, even if annoyingly so, holding a mirror to our faces.

    Someday, long past my knowing, someone will open a hot dog stand on Mars. I’ve no doubt that it will be called Ray’s Place or something very similar. I hope that some descendant of mine will step in for a dog and a brew and understand just why it has such a name.

    So long, old friend. And thanks for sharing what you saw. You made me larger.

  42. 42
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Crudely Wrott:

    I bow to you. Excellenty-said.

    I have no more.

  43. 43
    larrylyons

    It should have been October. But considering that Mr. Bradbury passed away during the Transit of Venus, that is almost as appropriate.

    Farewell Mr. Bradbury, you were one of the saviors of my sanity when I was a teen. Thank you.

  44. 44
    NitricAcid

    #38- That is an interesting idea…I’d never thought of using such extracts as flavourants before. I hesitate, because I wonder how much flavour is actually in one of those things, and I’m reluctant to help fund people who sell such things as if they were actually medicinal.

  45. 45
    John Phillips, FCD

    Back in the mid 60s my English Lit class were given a choice of three sets of books for half of our O level (O & C board UK exams for 5th formers, age 15-16) course. We all chose the SF set comprising Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos and H G Wells’ The Time Machine. I had always liked SF but that English Lit course really turned me on to Bradbury’s works in a big way, so inevitable as death is, it is still sad news.

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