Ray Bradbury — author of The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and many more literary classics — died this morning in Los Angeles, at the age of 91.
We've got confirmation from the family as well as his biographer, Sam Weller.
His grandson, Danny Karapetian, shared these words with io9 about his grandfather's passing: "If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him, and I look forward to hearing everyone's memories about him. He influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it's always really touching and comforting to hear their stories. Your stories. His legacy lives on in his monumental body of books, film, television and theater, but more importantly, in the minds and hearts of anyone who read him, because to read him was to know him. He was the biggest kid I know."
If you're looking for any single passage to remember him by, I just picked up my copy of The Illustrated Man, my favorite of his books. The introduction is entitled "Dancing, So As Not to Be Dead," and there are some great lines about death. My favorite:
"My tunes and numbers are here. They have filled my years, the years when I refused to die. And in order to do that I wrote, I wrote, I wrote, at noon or 3:00 A.M.
So as not to be dead."
I'm an actor, something he was always been really proud of, and told me once, after getting cast in a play. "You're living out my life! You're doing everything I wanted to do but couldn't!" He was such a driving force in my life, but what always fascinated me were his impact on others. How his stories lifted people up and saved them from lonely summers. Who among us was never buried deep in a Bradbury story, lost in his meticulously yet effortlessly crafted metaphor?
Please feel free to share your thoughts about Bradbury in the comments below. He truly was an inspiration, and the genre is poorer for his passing.
Photo credit AP.