Wednesday, June 06, 2012

There Will Come Soft Rains....

Word comes today that Ray Bradbury has died.

Once upon a time I made it my life's mission to find every Bradbury book in print.  Long before I knew the concept of "ordering" books, I would enter any store with a rack of paperbacks (those were the days!) and scour them for a copy of anything with Bradury's name on it that I didn't already have.

He still remains, for purely sentimental reasons, my favorite writer.

I think the only way to honor the day is to turn my cell phone off in his memory;* and perhaps walk about tonight, instead of watching TV.

*This may be more obscure than the other, but to this day I can't watch people walking around with a cell phone jammed to their ear and relating every thought currently on their minds to the air and someone on the other end, without thinking of Bradbury.


  1. It's hard to consider him a "great" writer, but he had such an influence on so many of us.

    A small example: while watching the Diamond Jubilee regatta Sunday, I couldh't help telling my family about Bradbury's story, "Henry IX, " in which only one man remains in England, the rest having fled because of the wretched weather. At least, I think that's what it was about--I haven't read it since high school (the early 1970's). The ideas persist.

  2. The original title (in "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction") was even more poetic: "A Final Scepter, A Lasting Crown...."

    No, Bradbury was not "great," ultimately, but as you say, his influence was so vast and deep.

  3. Windhorse2:37 PM

    Long before I knew the concept of "ordering" books, I would enter any store with a rack of paperbacks (those were the days!)

    Those really were the days. Standing in front of the science fiction and fantasy titles with the compelling artwork on the covers depicting strange and alien worlds made me feel as if I were standing on a precipice facing a space of limitless possibility and promise.

  4. Scott the Obscure3:37 PM

    I'm from a later time, after Bradbury's major works were relegated to safe, "literature" status, and therefore less interesting... but "Halloween tree" holds a special place in my heart, and "Something Wicked This Way Comes," still holds a special place in my giblets, the place, y'know, where they're frozen in terror...

  5. Windhorse--

    I have a nearly complete set of the Ballantine editions, the ones with the quasi-surrealist covers, all of which proclaim Bradbury "The Greatest Living Science Fiction Author" on the back.

    And all of which cost, at most, $.75. Yeah, I'm that old.


    I remember being assigned a Bradbury book in high school, and I was simultaneously thrilled and a bit disappointed. All fantasy and science fiction had been my private, i.e,. non-school, domain to that time.

    I still don't care to treat Bradbury as "literature." I still prefer to be the child who was thrilled to find a new volume with the familiar black spine and the weird artwork on the cover.....

  6. Windhorse6:14 PM

    Here's a Bradbury with a classic Frazetta cover:

  7. Windhorse6:17 PM

    Don't know why those links are getting truncated.

  8. Windhorse, I try to remember to use TinyUrl to convert the long ones.

  9. Windhorse9:24 AM

    The Thought Criminal -

    Thanks, great suggestion!