back to article Legendary sci-fi fantasy author Ray Bradbury exits planet Earth

Ray Bradbury, a master of fantasy fiction and author of the classic dystopian sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451, has died at the age of 91. The great man – who once labelled himself a "hybrid author" due to his love of movies, libraries and theatre – passed away on Tuesday night, his daughter Alexandra Bradbury confirmed to the …


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  1. Chazmon


    I read fahrenheit 451 for the first time only last week. Never before have I read a book with such pace and yet so poetic.

    I wonder what the autoignition temperature of a kindle is?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He wrote great stories that focused on believable characters.....

      From the real age of the sci-fi writers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Martian Chronicles


      1. Smallbrainfield

        A Sound of Thunder

        Not sure if it's the origin of the term 'butterfly effect', but if not it should be. RIP Ray.

  2. ratfox

    When is the cremation?

    The one with the can of gas and the matchbox...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    I always liked "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

    And with occasional lithium-ion battery recalls and fires, who needs firemen? :)

    R.I.P. Ray Bradbury and his supportive wife. Learn some more about the interwebs though :)

  4. Dan Paul
    Big Brother

    The world loses another great voice

    I started reading Science Fiction when I was perhaps 10 years old. Back then, the old pulps were prevalent, Astounding, Analog, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Fantastic, Unknown, etc etc.

    To me, Science fiction magazines and 25 cent novels were better than any television program because they could transport you bodily into an unknown world drawn from your own minds eye. Nothing was more vivid than that. Oh, and the front covers often showed cleavage, usually of hot blue eyed blondes in scanty outfits being attacked by bugeyed tentacled creatures. That why they call it "Fantasy"!

    Friends had boxes of these I could read whenever I liked. When I came across Ray Bradbury, I just had to read everything I could get my hands on. I nearly died laughing when Farhenheit 451 became required reading in high school, first because I'd already read it several times, next because of the sheer irony. Too bad the teachers didn't even grasp it's true meaning.

    I have read Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Illustrated Man, Martian Chronicles I sing the Body Electric, and countless short stories of which Bradbury was a master.

    The world lost a great voice, one that could see the future and through his writings let others see it too.

    The only trouble is that it appears that so few have actually read these prophetic novels of Bradbury and others because almost no one has learned the lessons within them.

  5. Tony Green

    Sad, but at least he had a good innings.

    The Martian Chronicles was such a gripping read that I couldn't go to sleep until I'd finished it. And I enjoyed it so much I reread it the next day.

  6. Josh Holman


    Thanks for the great stories.

  7. Graham Wilson

    Living on Mars has benefits.

    91 eh?

    Seems longevity comes from living on Mars. Devoid of foibles, nonsense, gobbledygook, claptrap, twaddle, gibberish and baloney of planet earth, life must be less stressful over there.

    Ticket please.

  8. Rodrigo Valenzuela


    I read "Martian Chronicles" when I was about 7 or 8... can't remember for sure.

    But it contained two stories that gave me a perspective that for a child were astonishing: "August 2026: There will come soft rains" and "April 2026: The long years".

    They both talked about the fast and brief time that is human live, how we can be survived by our creations and the incredibly ridiculous that our problems can be when they are seen from that point of view.

    "There will come soft rains" contains a very brief and powerful poem by Sara Teasdale, that gives its name to the story:

    There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,

    And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

    And frogs in the pools singing at night,

    And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

    Robins will wear their feathery fire,

    Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

    And not one will know of the war, not one

    Will care at last when it is done.

    Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,

    If mankind perished utterly;

    And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn

    Would scarcely know that we were gone.

    R.I.P. Mr Bradbury

    Thank you


  9. DZ-Jay

    It was a pleasure to burn.

    Das ist alles.

  10. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Fahrenheit 451

    I was about 15 when I noticed a copy on my english teacher's desk and flippantly asked "Didn't they burn all of those?"

    He didn't get it.

    (Then again, he didn't get my comments about Ice-9 when he had a copy of Cat's Cradle on his desk either.)

    1. DZ-Jay

      Re: Fahrenheit 451

      Funny, that. The copy of Fahrenheit 451 I had included a foreword written by Mr. Bradbury himself explaining how in the intervening years since he wrote the book, it had been banned from schools and communities due to offensive language. He relished in the irony.

      I personally discovered the book when playing the eponymous game for the Commodore 64. A friend of mine mentioned it was a real book, and I immediately went to the school library to check it out. I read it overnight in a hurry (for I had a test the next day, for a completely unrelated subject). I proceeded to re-read it at a more leisurely pace the next week.

      I've subsequently read the book maybe 4 times more since then.



  11. Stuart 25

    A life well lived.

    Kudos to a man who gave so much to the world.

    For probably the best tribute (that Ray Bradbury enjoyed at the time)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I know it was

    generally disliked but the TV adaptation of "The martian chronicles" was riveting. I was only a kid, it was on at stupid o'clock and i was chuffed to bits when it was released on DVD a few years ago. I still watch it to this day...

    Chocolate pudding!!!!

    Goodbye Mr B and thank you.......

    1. Ed Courtenay

      Re: I know it was

      @cornz 1: Agreed, I remember being transfixed by the TV adaptation of The Martian Chronicles; after watching the series, and learning that it was adapted from a book, I consumed all of the Ray Bradbury novels and short stories that I could find.

      As a bootnote: I found my nine year old son reading my dog-eared copy of "R Is For Rocket" the other day - my inner geek glowed I tell you

  13. BlueGreen

    I read TMC by the name of The Silver Locusts

    It was an eye opener, to see a world drawn so well; so beautifully, poetically.

    A review I read of it noted something I'd completely missed, that it had many the elements of the worst of pulp sci-fi like spaceships, martians, timeslips, telepathy, yet managed to be anything but pulp.

    I'll read it again soon. I hope it's kept its magic.

  14. Arfur Smiff

    Ray Bradbury dead

    Wow, that was unexpected...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    One of the best evocations of childhood and parenthood I've ever read.

    His prose was gorgeous and his ideas amazing - it'll be a long time before we see Mr Bradbury's like again - if ever.

    1. kissingthecarpet
      Thumb Up

      Re: Something Wicked This Way Comes

      I remember staying up to the early morning as a child when I read that for the first time. I first discovered him when I was about 9. His short story collection "R is for Rocket" was in the school library. 'A Sound of Thunder' was one of the stories.

      "The Illustrated Man" - another classic.

      1. Thomas 4

        Re: Something Wicked This Way Comes

        The Illustrated Man was the first book of his I read at the age of 15 and subsequently plowed my way through the rest of my parent's Bradbury collection.

        Just trying to remember - which book was it that had a short story about a city that was alive and ate a bunch of explorers?

        1. mhenriday

          The short story «The city»

          is found on pp 214-222 of my Corgi reprint of «The illustrated man» from 1960....


    2. EddieD

      Re: Something Wicked This Way Comes


      And the best description of the pain of insomnia ever.

      I lent my copy to a student a few years back, and never saw it again. I'm going to track down a replacement.

  16. Sir Runcible Spoon


    If you can read this from t'other side Ray, thanks for the gripping yarns.

  17. Jean-Luc

    A funny thing about 451 F

    Apparently, most English lit teachers teach it as being about censorship.

    And many disagreed with Ray when he told them it wasn't what the book was about.

    Kudos to an author living to tell off members of that particular profession when they over-analyze, as they seem compelled to.

  18. Uncle Slacky

    Obligatory Simpsons quote...

    "I'm aware of his work."

  19. illiad

    another great writer gone...

    Stuart 25:

    wow, I never thought of him as a sex-symbol... :D

  20. httpss

    A life well lived

    brilliant!! tks...

  21. Winkypop Silver badge

    Fahrenheit 451.....

    This was one of the few enjoyable 'required-reading' books at high school.

    It got me started on well written sci-fi

    Flame? It seems right.

  22. Martin

    He didn't just write science fiction....

    Many of his "straight" short stories are quite lovely. "The Beautiful Ice-Cream Suit" is one that springs to mind. He also had a wonderful ability to get into the minds of children - there's one story (can't remember which, unfortunately) which had a glorious description of what it's like to be a running child - to run, just because you can, and because it's fun.

    Wonderful writer.

    1. Quinch

      Re: He didn't just write science fiction....

      Sounds like Dandelion Wine, maybe.



    2. Steve Aubrey
      Thumb Up

      Re: He didn't just write science fiction....

      Sounds like "The Sound of Summer Running", which I need to go read again.

  23. Andrew Oyston 1

    Thank you

    Simply said. Thank you, Sir for all you have said and written. You will be a great miss. I salute you!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He will be missed.

    Listened to a talk he gave 30 years ago at UC Davis - infinitely upbeat. Left that auditorium thinking there might be hope for humanity.

  25. Tony Paulazzo

    A light has left the galaxy

    Beautiful prose with timeless quality - you were my childhood (memories of summers past) and will be missed.

  26. cdilla


    I have memories of two childhoods. One of my own very happy childhood, and a second equally happy one set in Greentown Illinois courtesy of of the great Ray Bradbury.

    Whilst many of his books and short stories have repeatedly passed through my reading list over the past few decades, it is Dandelion Wine that is always with me.

    I first read parts of it to my son when he was six. By the time he was twelve he had read it himself many times, and so another generation began to see the world through the wonderful visionary eyes of Ray Bradbury.

    My top two authors. RB and DNA. Now both gone.

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