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Ray Bradbury Has Died 315

dsinc was the first to note, but an anonymous reader writes "Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, the dystopian novel about the logical conclusion of many trends in modern society, and many other works that have inspired fans of speculative fiction for decades, has died at the age of 91 in Los Angeles, California, Tuesday night, June 5th, 2012. No details on how he died were released, but I suspect it may have had something to do with the Earth orbiting the sun over 90 times since he was born. I guess we'll have to wait to be sure."
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Ray Bradbury Has Died

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  • by Art Popp ( 29075 ) * on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:22AM (#40232853) found in that man's works. He is the reason my Mom understands the wonder of extraterrestrial life, the temptations and costs of technological solutions to social problems, and has any clue as to what her son is thinking.

    I owe that man a great deal more than I've spent on his books.

    • by ( 2472782 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:26AM (#40232921) Homepage
      Very well put. He made a huge impact on me growing up. A lot of people think of him as only a Sci-Fi writer, but his works went way beyond that. My wife is anything buy a Scifi fan, but she was deeply influenced by Bradbury and his "Zen and the Art of Writing". He was a true master and will be deeply missed.
    • by YodasEvilTwin ( 2014446 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:27AM (#40232935) Homepage
      I read The Martian Chronicles as a very young child. Pretty sure that completely f*cked me up.
      • Same here. Pretty bizarre stuff. I also remember the first time I read Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scared the shit out of me. We've lost one of the great ones.

        • Fahrenheit 451 scared the shit out of me, but I'm also a book worm.

          All those books... *shudders* ...those monsters...

      • by morcego ( 260031 )

        I read it when I was very young also, and it f*cked me up in a different way: it created higher expectations for the books I read after. You see, I had no idea who Ray Bradbury was back then, and I figured he was not a big name.

        Good memories.

    • by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:29AM (#40232993)

      Yes, very well put. Fahrenheit 451 was so far ahead of the times it is frightening.
      His poetic use of the language will be sorely missed.
      Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dandelion Wine, The Martian Chronicles... beautiful works.

    • by Kiyyik ( 954108 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:38AM (#40233141)
      Amen to that... more than his hard SF work, his stories of sheer damn everyday magic -- and I'm talking Dandelion Wine here, and Death is a Lonely Business, and so many others, captivated the hell out of me. He was the high water mark of what speculative fiction can accomplish, and taught me what SF is really about. When a reader told me my writing was alike a cross between Bradbury and Lovecraft, it was the best thing ever. Tonight... well, tonight I have a jug of dandelion wine sitting in my fridge--liquid summer, my first attempt but no less sweet. Tonight I'll raise a glass to him, and remember the long ago summers and the magic they held and the man who taught me to see them. Thank you, sir. Thank you.
    • RIP Mr. Bradbury. You were a great inspiration to me. I'm glad you got to live such a long life, and I hope you realize how many people you influenced so positively.
    • >I owe that man a great deal more than I've spent on his books.

      I agree completely. By the age of fourteen, I had read everything in our public library by the man. He had a tremendous influence on me as I grew up.

    • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:57AM (#40233453)

      He was the only author that was required reading in school (in several grades no less) that I still enjoyed on my own time as well. Not even English teachers can screw up Bradbury's works.

    • by thomst ( 1640045 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:20PM (#40235429) Homepage

      Art Popp commented:: found in that man's works. He is the reason my Mom understands the wonder of extraterrestrial life, the temptations and costs of technological solutions to social problems, and has any clue as to what her son is thinking.

      I owe that man a great deal more than I've spent on his books.

      No, no, NO. Ray Bradbury was a great, poetic writer, but he was NOT a science fiction writer. Period. He, himself, always characterized his work as fantasy, and I couldn't more enthusiastically agree.

      I've been reading science fiction since I was six years old, and I never considered Bradbury as an sf writer, even when I was a child. Mainly, that's because there's NO science in his fiction. Poetry, yes. Horror? Plenty of that. Magic? It's ubiquitous in Bradbury. But science? Uh, uh.

      Take "The Veldt", for instance, where a 3-D immersive wall display somehow turns into a portal into an actual African veldt, complete with a pride of hungry lions. Horripilating fiction, yes - but not SCIENCE fiction. It -like pretty much all of Bradbury's work - is fantasy dressed up in science fiction clothes.

      I always resented the goddamned media portraying Ray Bradbury as a science fiction author, all the while ignoring his contemporaries (Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein, Anderson, etc.) who actually WERE science fiction authors. Back in the 60's, whenever there was some major science-y news story, they'd trot poor old Ray out, and present him to the unwashed masses as "science fiction author Ray Bradbury". And Bradbury, of course, would have noting of value to say about the science aspect of the story, because HE WASN'T A SCIENCE FICTION AUTHOR. In fact, one of my absolute fondest memories was the extended conversation between Walter Cronkhite, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur Clarke during the wee hours of the morning on July 21, 1969, while the Apollo 11 astronauts spent 6 hours sleeping prior to that first, historic step onto the Moon. One of the things that I most appreciated about that redeye special was the fact that RAY BRADBURY WASN'T PART OF IT. It increased my already considerable respect for Uncle Walter by a non-trivial margin, let me tell you.

      Don't get me wrong, here. I enjoyed Ray Bradbury's work. He was an engaging writer, whose prose style often read like blank verse. I just never considered him to be a science fiction writer - AND NEITHER DID HE.

      And, btw, if you want to read the work of a master of the human side of science fiction, try the late, great Theodore Sturgeon. HE was an amazing science fiction writer, whose work often reads like poetry, but, unlike Bradbury's, it was ACTUAL science fiction, not fantasy dressed up in scifi clothes ...

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:25AM (#40232901)
    And "R is for Rocket" I read 40-some years ago. They were collections of Bradbury short stories.
    • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:37AM (#40233109) Journal

      And "R is for Rocket" I read 40-some years ago. They were collections of Bradbury short stories.

      Indeed, I too cut my teeth on Ray Bradbury's works for fantasy and science fiction. Recently I discovered an edition of 100 of his collected short stories [] (chosen by the man himself) that appeared to include most if not all of my favorites. For anyone looking to discover/rediscover, this is an inexpensive and fairly comprehensive route to take. These stories are written for a younger mind but are still enjoyable to me.

      It might have been because I had not dealt with death on a profound level yet but his short story "Kaleidoscope" from The Illustrated Man was permanently etched upon my mind. Now Bradbury is a shooting star providing wishes and dreams to the young minds who read his works. Personally I feel that hundreds of years from now, Bradbury will join the ranks of Hans Christian Anderson, Road Dahl, etc and his works will be seen as mandatory classics for readers. Like all modern writing, some of these stories aren't the most original in their nature but they are perfect to capture a mind and set someone on a course for endless reading. It's a sad day to see such a wonderful mind pass but I will do my part to immortalize him through recommendations.

    • "Frost and Fire" is one of my favorite short stories of all time. Of course, a good number of my favorites are from Ray Bradbury.

  • RIP (Score:5, Funny)

    by krakass ( 935403 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:26AM (#40232913)

    Rest in peace, but is it too late to Fuck me, Ray Bradbury []?

    • Thank you; that was a huge LOL.
    • Please mod +1 Awesome.

      I'm super bummed at his passing, and the irreverence, love for his work, and plain ol' good times in that video (I'd forgotten all about it!) made me smile a little while being sad. I forwarded to all my buddies who I know will be just as bummed as myself.

      And whoever modded your post down is a humorless dumbass.
  • by Gr33nJ3ll0 ( 1367543 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:27AM (#40232927)
    Obviously this is all about the transition of Venus across the sun. Just like the comet took Mark Twain, Venus has claimed Bradbury!
  • damn sad. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:28AM (#40232949) Homepage Journal
    I loved his book Celsius 233.
  • His most famous work (Score:5, Informative)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yburxyno>> on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:29AM (#40232975)

    Fahrenheit 451 wasn't about censorship []. I know 100 people who know nothing else about the book except cliff notes or what they got off wikipedia are about to make that comment. So I'll save you the trouble. It was about TV and the mental wasteland that he thought it represented.

    • by ravenshrike ( 808508 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:31AM (#40233031)

      According to Bradbury it wasn't about censorship. According to everybody else and their mother it WAS about censorship. So clearly the takeaway is that Bradbury sucks at getting his point across.

      • Given the choice between the author of the book and the masses I'm inclined to take the side of the author. That being said, your point that he sucked about getting his point across is one that I have to freely concede.

        • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:41AM (#40233181)
          I'd side with the masses. It's not particularly important what the author intended. It only matters what people take away from it. However, a contradiction between those two parties doesn't mean an author sucks at getting his/her point across. It just means when the work was released and took on a life of its own, the takeaway was different than what the author originally envisioned. There's nothing wrong with that.
          • Except that the book doesn't say anything meaningful about censorship. It's not like 1984, where the point is that those in power have a strong incentive to control everything those under them are exposed to, and if left unchecked would destroy the truth by the time it got to you. Burning books is just something that is done in Fahrenheit 451.

        • Given the choice between the author of the book and the masses I'm inclined to take the side of the author.

          Why can't both be right?

          • Why can't both be right?

            This is something that a lot of people can't seem to get their head around. Either they've had too many STEM classes in school that emphasize (rightly for their topic) the objective, or too many bad teachers that tell them some agreed upon meaning that you must regurgitate for a final essay question.

            The meaning of a work is what you take away from it. Not what other people take away from it. Not what the author put there to be taken away. Nobody can be wrong about the meaning of a work because it's a su

        • The author's intent and the readership's interpretation need not agree.
        • Given the choice between the author of the book and the masses I'm inclined to take the side of the author. That being said, your point that he sucked about getting his point across is one that I have to freely concede.

          I don't buy this because it's like saying Ridley Scott knows what he's talking about when he claims that Deckard was a replicant. He clearly wasn't, because 1) it would have ruined the "more human [empathic] than human [the creature]" aspect of the story, and 2) Deckard constantly was getting his ass handed to him by replicants.

          It's also like buying George Lucas now saying that Greedo always shot first.

      • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:54AM (#40233401) Homepage Journal

        Yes, that's because people are stupid and will make the simplest possible connections they can. Book burning, historically, was about specific books. Nazis would burn books with Jewish authors, Christians would burn "satanic" books.

        In Bradbury's novel, they burned ALL books, and never once because anyone disagreed with anything the books said. They burned them because of rampant anti-intellectualism, which was clearly recurring throughout the book. People burn because because they know they're supposed to, and don't care to look into the matter any further. Beatty, Montag's superior, even suggested it was common for firemen to be interested, but they'd grow out of it.

        You only get "censorship" from 451 if you didn't really read it.

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @12:44PM (#40234121) Homepage

          It's still censorship. It's just censorship taken to an extreme.

          It's an overkill approach to suppressing anything that might shake people out of their stupor. The government didn't want anyone to start thinking. Of course the populace were pretty indifferent.

          It wasn't "the will of the people", it was a heavy handed means of asserting control and suppressing ideas.

          Suppressing ideas, even if done very crudely, is what censorship is. The fact that there's a lot of collateral damage doesn't really matter.

          Harlequins were destroyed to make sure that copies of On Walden Pond burned with it.

          The great irony is the fact that the tech he was objecting too ultimately will ensure that such a future cannot happen. I have more books in my transistor radio/phone than any character in Fahrenheit 451.

        • I haven't read it, and so I'm not making an argument about the book itself, but once created, art has a life beyond its creator and its meaning is subjective. If one sees happiness in a Jackson Pollock, say, then the painting means happiness to them. If another person sees a mess, then to them it's a mess. The artist himself may have been expressing anger or remorse, but it's other people's interpretations that give it meaning. This is no less true for written works of art than other media. I may write

    • Fahrenheit 451 wasn't about censorship []. I know 100 people who know nothing else about the book except cliff notes or what they got off wikipedia are about to make that comment. So I'll save you the trouble. It was about TV and the mental wasteland that he thought it represented.

      That's what Bradbury said his intention was. As with all literature, the author's intention is only a part of what readers get from the book; often, even usually, there is far more in the work than the author consciously put in. Even the very best of authors are notoriously poor at picking out what their audience will find in their own work.

      • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @12:05PM (#40233593)

        Books tend to have three meanings:
        1) What the author meant
        2) What the reader takes away from the story
        3) What English teacher say the author meant and what they (the teachers) think readers should take away from the story

        1 and 2 are often, but not always, the same. Neither 1 nor 2 are ever the same as 3.

      • And in F451 they were censoring all complex thought. Although I'm not quite sure how they were able to make ultrafast cars when nobody had two neurons to knock together anymore as TV rotted their brains.

      • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @04:31PM (#40236879)

        One of the things I like about books is that they are a collaboration. If you watch a movie or TV show then you get what you are given, room can sometimes be left for some personal interpretation, but generally by being intentionally vague and leaving holes in the mosaic.

        With a good book the author can lay down his vision, as rich and full as he can make it and ripe with intent both conscious and otherwise. But when you partake of his creation, the words act not as a finished product, but as a seed. They take root in your mind and grow, blossoming into a world that extends far beyond what was captured on the page, full of a detail and subtlety undreamt of in cinema, a living world which is not constrained by the covers that house it, but only slips out of focus where it extends beyond them. A deeply personal expanse born of both the author's mind and your own.

        I think that's one of the reasons that, for all their convenience, I'm not overfond of books-on-tape. Every pause, every inflection, every subtle choice of pronunciation inserts a tiny sliver of a third mind into the communion. Not enough to make a substantial contribution, but enough to twist and stunt the growth of the world.

        Perhaps too there is a power in the written word itself. The word is an abstraction of the concept, and the written word a further abstraction of that. Perhaps the very act of reading, of translating symbols into words, and words into concepts imparts a psychological momentum that launches them deep into your mind where they can find fertile ground and grow beyond concept into imagery and substance, acquiring depth and breadth until a scattering of concepts becomes a world.

    • I had a coworker recently tell me about many TVs she had throughout the house. She wanted to get a waterproof one to put outside by the pool, then joked about having a big screen on the bottom of the pool. I said it was like F451, and she had no idea what I meant. I described how there were TV screens everywhere, her eyes lit up and she said, "That would be awesome!" I tried to tell her how it was meant to be a distopia, not a utopia, but gave up after a few minutes.
    • According to Upton Sinclair [], The Jungle [] was about socialism and wage slavery, not corruption and unsanitary practices in the meatpacking business. Still doesn't change how it was received by EVERYONE else, or how it led to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.
      • You happen to be right, and without question his book led to the incredible benefit that you describe. It is a similar case with Fahrenheit 451, wherein a book that really wasn't about censorship made it reprehensible in the eye of the public to burn books for censorship purposes. Book burning for censorship purposes used to be much more popular than it is today.

        Consider these unforeseen consequences that likely never could have happened other than by accident. Sometimes history has luck work in favor of th

    • That's the fun in art, the interpretation is not always up just to the author. Actually, it should be left to the consumer of art.

      Mr. Lucas, I'm looking at you!

      Fahrenheit is maybe not by itself about censorship, but it does indeed touch that subject quite obviously. Actually, the subject of self-censorship. Books are just the means to an end, in this case, they represent the will to think for yourself and have your own opinion, to refuse to bend to the system, no matter how convenient it might be. It sure i

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:29AM (#40232985) Journal

    My wife never liked science fiction. One evening I chose "Something Wicked This Way Comes" to watch on DVD and she rolled her eyes at my choice.

    After watching, she said to me "now I know why you read all that stuff. That was great!"

    A true master of the art has passed.

  • at the Denver Performing Arts Center. The plot elements have held up fairly well over the decades. It was written at the dawn of the television era when Bradbury witnessed TV taking over suburban lives. This fear has been re-echoed every generation since with PCs, the web, and mobile devices displacing family life and and books.
  • by BRSQUIRRL ( 69271 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:32AM (#40233043)

    While a little overlooked (and dated, to be fair) now, The Martian Chronicles were one of the first sci-fi works I read as a kid and were a big part of making me a fan of the genre. Like all of his works, they were simultaneously beautiful and sad.

    Farewell, good sir; you put humanity under the microscope with your writing and, whether we liked what we saw or not, we needed to see it.

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:36AM (#40233101) Homepage Journal

    What really bothers me about 451 is how just about everything but the book burning turned out true. If you remove that aspect from the book, you'd have a hard time separating it from the United States of today. I can't read it without being unnerved. Immersing ourselves in our electronic entertainment rather than our lives, advertisement everywhere, complete lack of empathy as a social standard, constant, ignored wars, distaste for pedestrians, rampant anti-intellectualism, near identical suburbs everywhere.

    It was a brilliant extrapolation from 1953, and I wish it wasn't so close to reality.

  • One of the more vivid images in ray's stories were the hordes of rockets fleeing Earth for new opportunities on Mars. I thought this was transposition of the settling of US West and displacement of Indians which would have still been in the living memory of Ray's grandparents when he was a child. The success of DragonX last week is private door opening [] into space after half century of government monopolies.
  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:43AM (#40233221)

    It was the transit of Venus! It was jealous that Ray gave Mars all his love, and pulled some sneaky, underhanded gravitational alignment whatsis! Damn you, Venus! Damn yoooooou!

  • Dinosaurs pass on (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dorpus ( 636554 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:43AM (#40233233)

    I'm from the generation that had schoolteachers who couldn't stop talking about how great the 60s were. So, Bradbury epitomized the 60s SF writers who thought that computer technology would "oppress" us, and women in the future were supposed to behave just as submissively as 1950s women. Thanks to that strain of thought, my generation was discouraged from pursuing computer careers.

  • Ray Bradbury is one of the reasons I look back fondly on my childhood.
  • The New Yorker (Score:5, Interesting)

    by milkmage ( 795746 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:47AM (#40233293)

    ran their first sci-fi issue this month.

    Here's his piece "Inspiration for the Fire Balloons" []

    While I remained earthbound, I would time-travel, listening to the grownups, who on warm nights gathered outside on the lawns and porches to talk and reminisce. At the end of the Fourth of July, after the uncles had their cigars and philosophical discussions, and the aunts, nephews, and cousins had their ice-cream cones or lemonade, and we’d exhausted all the fireworks, it was the special time, the sad time, the time of beauty. It was the time of the fire balloons.

  • I owe Mr. Bradbury and his golden age of science fiction brethern a great deal. It was his writing and that of Wells, Verne, Assimov and others which pulled me up from a path of near illiteracy to being an avid reader.

    If there is an after life, I hope Bradbury, Verne, Clark and all the others have already started writing for the inhabitants. They'll be better off for it.

  • Prescient (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cthlptlk ( 210435 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @11:54AM (#40233407)

    I just looked at a few wikipedia pages and saw this thing that he wrote about a transistor radio in the 1950s. It is exactly the way you might describe someone talking on a cell phone if you walked outside your door right now:

    In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.

    No, he didn't predict cell phones or anything like that, but he recognized one of the first victims of the epidemic that went on to swallow us all.

    • by wcrowe ( 94389 )

      I think this is why he was such a great writer. He had a real sense of the human element of technology -- how we use it; how we interact with it; how it affects us, both individually and as a species.

    • by KlomDark ( 6370 )

      I'm reading this on my phone at lunch so getting a kick of of this...

      Posted from my Cricket Memo

  • by uncle slacky ( 1125953 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @12:00PM (#40233517)

    "I'm aware of his work."

  • No details on how he died were released, but I suspect it may have had something to do with the Earth orbiting the sun over 90 times since he was born.

    For that matter, he could have been the one letting the earth orbit the sun all this time. I guess we will be waiting with bated breath to know if it is possible for the earth to orbit the sun without him.

  • I happened to be touring a university campus (UCLA? Berkeley?) and saw a poster for a talk he was giving, and bought a ticket on a whim. He was a fascinating speaker, and it was intriguing to hear him re-engineer and expand on Fahrenheit 451. What a treat. Afterwards, he gladly stayed behind and autographed books for quite a while.

    I also remember something about him being arrested in Paris, France for being 'drunk and in charge of a bicycle'. What's not to like?


  • Use to love watching it. this

  • Martian Chronicles was an early favorite, but the one that stuck with me as a young kid was The Veldt [], which I was lucky enough to have read and seen on film in school.
  • Ray Bradbury wrote touchy feelie, technologically very light science fiction. As a fan of the hard stuff (Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke et. al. - I prefer SF that requires a working knowledge of vector calculus and differential equations to really appreciate) his stuff always seemd pretty fluffy fare. I always summed it up as the science fiction beloved by English teachers everywhere, becuase if you took an English course in the 60s and 70s, and any SF was going to wind up on the reading list,
    • As a fan of the hard stuff (Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke et. al. - I prefer SF that requires a working knowledge of vector calculus and differential equations to really appreciate) his stuff always seemd pretty fluffy fare. I always summed it up as the science fiction beloved by English teachers everywhere

      Heh, you've got a point, and I too got tired of seeing him presented as pretty much the only science fiction author admitted into the literary canon. But SF from the 1970s on, which at its best combines "the hard stuff" with a humanistic approach to characterization, owes Bradbury equally along with Clarke et al. I've never understood the idea that scientific rigor should require the characters to be one-dimensional; both are important to telling a good story to which both the words "science" and "fiction

  • by rbowen ( 112459 ) Works for SourceForge on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @01:40PM (#40234941) Homepage

    I feel like an old friend has died, and I've been near tears several times today. I grew up on his stories. I deeply identified with his characters - especially Douglas Spaulding. I read Dandelion Wine almost every year, and it's always new.

    He influenced my writing style more than anyone else, as well as his encouragement to write something every day, whether I want to or not.

    His stories were always about more than just the setting - science fiction was simply a vehicle for him to communicate deep truths.

    I've been remembering all day a scene in Dandelion Wine in which Great Grandmother says goodbye to her family, and then settles into bed to try to find the dream that was interrupted when she was born. I hope you find your dream, Ray. Sleep well, old friend.

  • Farenheit 451 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by scharkalvin ( 72228 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @03:17PM (#40236103) Homepage

    Ray Bradberry wanted the title of this work to be the temperature that book paper catches fire. He searchd through the public libraries research section but couldn't find the answer to that question. He tried contacting several paper companies but they didn't have the answer. He finally called the local fire department and asked them what temperature paper catches fire at.... THEY KNEW!

  • by mannd ( 841376 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @05:15PM (#40237333) Homepage
    RIP Ray Bradbury. In 1999 I waited for about 4 hours in a line that wound around the downtown Denver Barnes and Noble to meet him and have him autograph a book. At the beginning of the event the book store manager announced that he would only stay for 2 hours to autograph books. The 2 hours came and went and the line was still very long. He then announced that he would stay until every last person had his or her book signed. He stayed until long after the usual store closing and signed every book. One of America's greatest authors and a true gentleman.
  • by An dochasac ( 591582 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @05:26PM (#40237445)

    Ray Bradbury wrote "All summer in a day" [], the story of prejudice on Venus where an earthling's Venus-born schoolmates no longer believe in the sun. In a reflection of the rare beauty of a total solar eclipse, or the rarer phenomena of a Venus the sun only appears once every 7 years on Bradbury's Venus. Mr. Bradbury might have appreciated that his last day on earth coincided with a rare alignment between Earth, the Sun and Venus where...

    No one in the class could remember a time when there wasn't rain.
    "Do the scientists really know? Will it happen today, will it?"
    "Look, look; see for yourself!"
    The children pressed to each other like so many roses, so many weeds, intermixed, peering out for a look at the hidden sun.
    It rained.
    It had been raining for seven years; thousand upon thousands of days compounded and filled from one end to the other with rain, with the drum and gush of water, with the sweet crystal fall of showers and the concussion of storms so heavy they were tidal waves come over the islands. A thousand forests had been crushed under the rain and grown up a thousand times to be crushed again. And this was the way life was forever on the planet Venus, and this was the schoolroom of the children of the rocket men and women who had come to a raining world to set up civilization and live out their lives.
    "It's stopping, it's stopping!"
    "Yes, yes!"

    Fellow midwesterner Mark Twain famously wrote: "I came in with Halley's comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'"

    Bradbury wasn't as sardonic as Twain. He preferred walking to driving, but this preference raised suspicions of cops in Waukegan Illinois. He turned his confrontations into Fahrenheit 451. As one of the most prolific writers in the world, he should be remembered for his love of language and life. Ray has inspired millions of writers and scientists with his prolific writing and love for language and life. And if you can read one of his first short stories, "The Lake" [] without shedding a tear over how short our time is on this planet... I don't know.

    "In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating." -- Ray Bradbury (1920-2012 R.I.P.)

  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @09:19PM (#40239611) Homepage
    Ray Bradbury couldn't find a major publisher willing to take on "Fahrenheit 451". It was first published in serial form in Playboy in 1954. It was only afterwards that it became a noted novel.

    People don't give Playboy any credit, but they were actually often quite edgy and on the forefront of a lot of new fiction and ideas throughout the 50, 60 and earlier 70s.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"