American science fiction author Ray Bradbury dies age 91
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Wednesday 06 June 2012
Ray Bradbury, the American author who was regarded alongside the giants of 20th century science fiction and fantasy writing, has died at the age of 91.
Tributes poured in after it was confirmed that Bradbury, who published more than 500 works including the celebrated Fahrenheit 451, died last night.
The author, who never went to college, sold more than 8 million books around the world, was honoured with the National Medal of Arts and even had a crater on the moon named after one of his books. In 2007, the Pulitzer Board gave him a special citation “for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.”
Yet, despite foreseeing an uncanny number of technological developments over the past half century, he criticised the use of computers and the internet and never drove a car.
Fans took to Twitter to express their sadness over the author’s death today. Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, said: “Our imagination will be dimmer without him.”
Sherlock writer and actor Mark Gatiss said Bradbury was had a “dazzling, incredibly humane imagination like no other” while Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood said he “grew up with his incredible stories.”
Jonathan Ross said: “The great Ray Bradbury has left the planet. When I was younger I read no one else. Was lucky enough to shake his hand.”
Bradbury was born in Illinois in 1920. He was a passionate reader and writer as a child, although was beset by terrible nightmares. His imagination was fired after an introduction to science fiction at the age of eight, “devouring” stories about Buck Rogers, Tarzan and John Carter.
He and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 13 with his family but did not go to college, and taught himself in libraries instead. His determination to be a writer saw him sell his first short story before he was 21, but his first major work was published in 1950. The Maritain Chronicles was praised by Christopher Isherwood as a “very great and visual talent”.
In Fahrenheit 451, published three years later, he presents a dystopian future where the totalitarian state bans books and burns them. He would later say: “There are worse crimes than burning books, one of them is not reading them.” The title refers to the heat that paper burns, according to one of the characters. He would later say that almost everything predicted in the book had come about including the influence of television, the rise of local TV news and a neglect of education. He told Wired in 1998 that he had used them “because I was trying to prevent a future, not predict one.”
Bradbury was a hugely prolific writer, but would also produce work for film including the script for John Huston’s 1956 film version of Moby Dick and TV shows including the Twilight Zone. Later in life he was even brought in by NASA to lecture astronauts and helped Disney on the design for Epcot.
Bradbury lived in the same LA house for 50 years with his wife Marguerite who died in 2003, and is survived by four daughters. A recent stroke had confined him to a wheelchair.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Oscar Pistorius trial: Never mind a media scrum – murder case becomes bizarre safari following the tracks of a wounded lion
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Competitive: Nielsen: We are seeking an enthusiastic intern with a passionate ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are currently ...
Plus benefits: Sherrards Solicitors LLP: Sherrards is an equal opportunities e...