Author Ray Bradbury dies, aged 91

 

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

Related Stories

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.

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 143.

    one of the very few times when a BBC dead thread was actually worth it.

    Great writer, top bloke, by all accounts.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 142.

    Thanks, Ray Bradbury, for all the wonderful writings. You are with the Pantheon of great authors. RIP

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 141.

    The Martian Chronicles is the first book that I can remember making me cry not because it was sad (although it is – ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ is as bleak as Beckett) but because it was beautiful. It gave me a passion for SF and for good writing of any kind. I’ve returned to it many times, appreciating its darkly honest view of human nature. Looks like it’s time to get it out again…

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 140.

    Azimov,Philip K Dick, Jose Farmer and now Ray Bradbury. Are there any SCi Fi writers of this quality left.
    And I mean SCi Fi writers not fantasy which is a great genre but entirely different.
    Sci Fi explores what is possible in the near or distant future. Although it is often maligned to me it a great medium because it fire the imagination and makes the reader think.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 139.

    Another of the icons of my youth gone - his were among the books I always bought as soon as they came out, and then stayed up all night reading.

    Many thanks for (together with Asimov) giving me a taste for good SF.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 138.

    A hugely underrated writer who was pigeon-holed within the Science Fiction genre (not that there's anything wrong with that) but his writing encapsulated so much more. The master of the metaphor, his ability to create atmosphere, particularly that of small town America, was second to none. He is up there with recently departed J.G. Ballard as one of the THE great writers of the 20th Century.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 137.

    RIP Ray. Its artists like yourself that have fuelled my imagination and helped me escape the bad times. Enjoy your journey among the stars; you've earned it!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 136.

    Thank you ever so much for the wonderful stories! Rest in peace.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 135.

    I never read any of his material, but any author with priciples,a quick mind and millions of followers can't be wrong; if we all liked the same thing, what a boreing world we would live in. RIP

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 134.

    The truth can be many times stranger than any fiction. I see a little piece of truth being carried a long way. Sadly that sums up the majority of that called the truth allowed and presented to the worlds population.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 133.

    A great mind and a great writer. You will be missed, Ray.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 132.

    A true visionary science fiction writer who saw the future and wrote about it so vividly in so many novels that are known far and wide.

    I remember reading the Illustrated Man in English at school and writing my own story imagined in the plot of the book having being inspired by the limitless possibilities the story presented.

    A great life, a giant of the genre, Ray Bradbury RIP.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 131.

    The amazing thing about someone like Ray Bradbury is that he isn't really gone. He lives on in all his work and will continue to live on in the minds and hearts of all his readers. Tomorrow or the next day, or months and years from now I can pick up a book, or short story by Mr. Bradbury and it'll be like he's still here speaking with that special voice that was uniquely his own.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 130.

    I was going to try and say something clever around the idea that 'something wicked' always comes around, but it would be crass. I've read and loved his work from a small boy and only now realise how long it is since I read him. Sad that it takes his passing to get me reaching for those old treasures on my shelves. Safe journey, Ray. Hope it's okay where ever you end up.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 129.

    Thanks for the tales Ray,they will live forever,RIP.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 128.

    I'd like to wave my hand too - to the man who left to meet the twilight.
    I'll miss your words, Ray.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 127.

    I have to be careful about reading Bradbury - he was too good at his job. In my teens I read all of "The October Country" in one sitting and almost lost the will the live.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 126.

    So many comments, from so many people. All highlighting what a positive influence the words of this man were .... There are a lot of BBC "discuss this articles" ... I wager not many are as full of positive comments as this .....

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 125.

    he story-teller of my youth - such great things he wrote. Silver Locusts, Sound of Thunder, Something Wicked this way comes - Fahrenheit 451, I could go on - but all of these books live in my imagination still. His ideas survive him. Long may they remain, with other younger readers - a true immortal bard.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 124.

    I first came across Ray Bradbury as an 11 year old when I did an English Speaking Board exam at school and I was given a copy of the 'Illustrated Man' and asked to read from the beginning until told to stop. That day, I got to page 3 but I quickly finished the book afterwards and a life long love of Science Fiction ensued.
    Thanks Ray. Without you, it could all have been so different.

 

Page 1 of 8

 

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900-year-story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest


  • TheatreBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?


  • Agents with the US Secret Service, such as this one, are responsible for guarding the presidentHard at work

    White House break-in adds to Secret Service woes


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.