Author Ray Bradbury dies, aged 91


Ray Bradbury told Terry Wogan his writing talent came from his prolific memory and "voices inside my head"

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Author Ray Bradbury has died in Los Angeles at the age of 91.

His daughter Alexandra confirmed that her father died on Tuesday night in Southern California.

Bradbury wrote hundreds of novels, short stories, plays and television and film scripts in a career dating back to the 1940s.

His most famous novels include Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The writer's grandson, Danny Karapetian, said: "He influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it's always really touching and comforting to hear their stories.

"His legacy lives on in his monumental body of books, film, television and theatre, but more importantly, in the minds and hearts of anyone who read him, because to read him was to know him".

Start Quote

He was one of those few people who actually exceeds your expectations”

End Quote Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

Tributes have been paid by famous fans of the writer, Moon director Duncan Jones mourned "another amazing sci-fi visionary gone".

Bradbury was born in Illinois, and as a teenager moved with his family to Los Angeles.

For three years after leaving school he earned a living selling newspapers, writing in his spare time.

From the early 1940s, his short stories started to appear in magazines like Weird Tales, Astounding Science Fiction and Captain Future.

In 1947, he married Marguerite 'Maggie' McClure and published his first book, Dark Carnival.

Three years later, Bradbury began to establish his reputation with The Martian Chronicles, a collection of stories about materialistic Earthmen colonising and ruinously exploiting Mars.

His most celebrated novel, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953, depicts a future society in which books are banned.

The story, which gets its title from the temperature at which paper supposedly ignites, proved to be uncannily prophetic - the characters are addicted to television soap operas, while miniature headphones, known as "ear thimbles", provide a constant stream of music and news.

Ray Bradbury Bradbury preferred his work to be called "fantasy" rather than "science fiction"

A film version, directed by Francois Truffaut, was released in 1966.

For years, Bradbury tried to prevent the publication of Fahrenheit 451 as an e-book. He told the New York times that electronic books "smell like burned fuel" and called the internet "a big distraction".

"It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere," he said.

But he relented in 2011, when his publishing deal was renewed. His agent said: "We explained the situation to him, that a new contract wouldn't be possible without e-book rights. He understood and gave us the right to go ahead."

Bradbury also wrote several works for film and television. He wrote the screenplay for John Huston's film Moby Dick and scripts for many TV series, including Suspense, The Alfred Hitchcock Show and The Twilight Zone.

Bradbury was passionate about literature. In 2008, he told The National Endowment for the Arts: "If you know how to read, you have a complete education about life, then you know how to vote within a democracy.

"But if you don't know how to read, you don't know how to decide. That's the great thing about our country - we're a democracy of readers, and we should keep it that way."

The author had four daughters - Susan, Ramona, Bettina and Alexandra. His wife died in 2003.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    One of my favorite Science Fiction writers has died. I enjoyed reading “The Martian Chronicles”, “Fahrenheit 451”, “A Medicine for Melancholy” among others in the 70´s. I also recommend Francois Truffaut film based on Fahrenheit 451 book. Shape my adolescence and perhaps my adulthood. Made me fall in love with the ideal of a better possible world. Requiescat In Pace, Ray Bradbury

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    RIP Ray Bradbury
    His short stories - which I still read - take me back to my early teens when I was completely absorbed by them. Great escapism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    A true visionary. A man who changed the way we think about the universe and about ourselves, and a great storyteller. Right now he's "one of those sci-fi writers". History will place him alongside Dickens, Arthur C Clarke, Martin Amis, Michael Moorcock et al, as a man whose prose left an indelible mark on humanity. Rest in Peace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    A terrific inspiration for readers and new writers alike. I was hooked on his work since reading an extract from Fahrenheit 451 in school for my GCSE. Let's hope that his death sparks off a rush for those who have so far not read his work, and especially a new generation of youngsters, to experience his writing; sci-fi and fantasy at its best, and its ideas and themes still so relevant today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    In the early 60's my whole attitude to reading was changed forever by Ray's beautiful poetic style. I still regard 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' as one of the scariest, hypnotic and rewarding novels I've read. Hope you're with the Martians!

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    Sad loss
    I particular liked Fahrenheit 451 & the film (1966)
    The BBC as a corporate entity should learn the lessons of this book & the film adaptation, as they are every bit as evil as the smiling, self righteous oppressors depicted.... Go ahead BBC BAN my thoughts

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    Utter absorption. Most books and stories I read, I always seem to read with a kind of background understanding that I'm somewhere reading a book. Reading Ray Bradbury's stories I've often found it disappointing to look up and be reminded I'm sat somewhere in a real room, reading. Many video games today are called 'immersive'. No comparison. Tell someone you like about Ray Bradbury.

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    A great loss to the sci-fi genre. Condolences to his family, friends and fans.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    Such a tragic loss to the world of SF literacy. 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' inspired some of the music I wrote 7 or 8 years ago.'The Martian Chronicles' is my all time favourite book of his, just find it spine tingling and cannot put it down. He had such a way with words, like in Dandelion Wine, he was like no other author, so unique in his own style. Was always a person I wish I met.RIP Ray

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    In his wonderful imagination he rode the carousel backwards every day keeping the fantastic settings, the remarkable characters, the humanity, the quiet intelligence and gentle humour flowing through his amazing stories all his life.
    Thank you, Ray Bradbury, for giving us so many worlds to live in.

    Gary and Ann, Darwen,Lancs

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    Ever since a teacher read the Golden Apples of the Sun to us at school I have enjoyed his work. A unique and lyrical voice and an imagination and vision that added tremendous range to the fantasy and sci-fi genres, and to literature in general.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    As a sci/fi reader for many years it was either H.G.Wells or Ray Bradbury that occupied my reading time. Thank You Ray! Enjoy your eternal rest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    My condolences and thanks to his family.
    Ray gave me with so many hours of entertainment it is difficult to quantify.
    The first book of his I ever read was "I Sing the Body Electric" and whilst it was not his best collection of short stories it was enough to convince me to search out and buy other works. He will be missed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    Ray... I read all your books and met you on several occasions. Your imagination and character profoundly changed the way I viewd the world. Rest in peace dear friend.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    I was just a child. It was probably about 1962, plus or minus, and I began reading my first science fiction, The Martian Chronicles.

    Fifty plus years I have been enjoying reading and many hours have been spent well with Ray Bradbury. Thank you, Mr. Bradbury.

    I shall miss him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    Read Ray Bradbury's short story, 'The Pedestrian', while at school. Story of a character called Leonard Mead. Who remembers him?!

    First time fiction had enabled me to search deeply to try to understand the world around me and possibilities of where we could be heading...

    Had a profound affect on me. Changed me forever!

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    His books sparked for me a lifelong love of reading, especially of science fiction. Thank you, Mr. Bradbury.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    This is really sad news. It was Ray Bradbury, with 'A Sound Of Thunder' - his best short story - that properly got me into reading science-fiction; not just watching it on telly. If you haven't read any of his works - you should. He was PKD before PKD was.

    RIP Ray.

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    I've been meaning to write a thank you letter to Ray Bradbury for years. It just goes to show- never put things off to tomorrow when you can do them today.

    Rest in peace, Ray. And thanks for all the stories.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    He once said he got tired of being asked where he got the ideas for his imaginative stories, so he started replying with a straight face, "I pay a guy in Skokie, Illinois."


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