Very sad this morning to hear of the death of Ray Bradbury at the age of 91. Author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, as well as around six hundred short stories, Bradbury was perhaps the last of the SF “Old Guard”, authors like Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein who had honed their craft during the pulp era of the 40’s and 50’s. It’s sad to feel that sense of a generation passing.
Plenty of people, including Steven Spielberg, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, have left tributes to Ray Bradbury on their blogs, but as Bradbury was brilliantly quotable, I’m going to leave you with his own words for you to mull over. I think his passion, and his humour, comes over wonderfully well in the things he had to say.
“Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction. ”
“Every story I’ve written was written because I had to write it. Writing stories is like breathing for me; it is my life.”
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”
“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
“I have three rules to live by: Get your work done. If that doesn’t work, shut up and drink your gin, and when all else fails, run like hell.”
Damn good philosophy to have. RIP, Ray Bradbury. Thank you for all the books, and the infectious love of books, that you shared with the world.