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Rest In Peace, Ray Bradbury

June 6, 2012

Photo: Steve Castillo / AP

The revered and well-esteemed American author Ray Bradbury died Tuesday night at the age of 91. Another death to be acknowledged in the matter of only two days.

During the course of his life, Ray Douglas Bradbury wrote 27 novels and more than 600 short stories. He is well-known for works such as “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Dandelion Wine”, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and my personal favourite “Frost and Fire”, all branding him as one of the biggest authors within science fiction and fantasy; genres for which he has done a great service in terms of added respectability and unquestionably quality.

Ray Bradbury didn’t characterize himself as an author of science fiction. Instead he has been frequently quoted to say: “I’m not a science fiction writer. I’ve written only one book of science fiction [“Fahrenheit 451”]. All the others are fantasy. Fantasies are things that can’t happen, and science fiction is about things that can happen.”

Nevertheless, he was a master of portraying how society and humankind can develop, if we’re not cautious and preserve values such as empathy, respect, kindness, critical thinking and a strife towards becoming more than we are.

In his authorship, Ray Bradbury can be compared to other great authors of fiction such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick and Arthur C. Clarke to name just a few. All authors, who can be identified as having said something crucially important about who and what we are. And what it means to be human, here, now and in the future. All authors, who should be greatly respected for seeing clearly what, sometimes, the rest of us cannot. Authors, who in many cases have foreseen, and rightfully warned us of what will happen, if we don’t take care of each other and what is truly important in this world.

Ray Bradbury has left us, but his works live on and stand as a testimony to what can happen if we forsake above-mentioned values, if we stop to read, if we stop to expand our minds. Ray Bradbury’s works remind us that we should always be critical, that the impending doom might otherwise await in a near future if we are not careful, but at the same time we can find comfort in something as simple as a ray of sunlight, when it otherwise seems to be raining all the time. Ray Bradbury has showed us that this wisdom can be found within great works of science fiction and fantasy. May he rest in peace.

Image Link: The Telegraph: Ray Bradbury dies aged 91

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