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RIP Ray Bradbury

June 6, 2012

I just heard that Ray Bradbury passed away today, at the age of 91. He was one of the first four science fiction authors I read when I was young, along with Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke.

From RAH I learned how to conduct myself as a  human being, from Asimov to think far into the future, from Clarke the excitement of what could happen in my lifetime, and from Bradbury – that the future would not be without poetry. He was the less technical of those four by far, but the one with the best gift for words; his writing was less about the science and more about the wonder. He was less my favorite when I was in my “extremely technical” phase, but later I came to appreciate his work far more.

Much later, of course, I learned to love Harlan Ellison’s work, but Harlan is…something else. Perhaps Ellison is sort of the anti-Bradbury, in a good way!

Anyway, I’m sorry to hear of his passing. Now all of those big four are gone. I hope, for him, that “Mars is Heaven.” I’m sure he would like to be there, or in his beloved Waukegan of his childhood.

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