Ray Bradbury, you bastard. You were supposed to live forever. You alone would keep writing long after the rest of us were mouldering bones and withered flesh. You were the shining star. The celestial furnace of creativity that could never be extinguished. You were the one who lit the way for so many genres and other great writers. You defined and re-defined the many genres of Speculative Fiction. You broke through literary market barriers like a rioting mob.
You will always be the Shakespeare of the 20th Century science-fiction writers. Like Shakespeare your ideas ranged from the quirky to the inspirational. You had the same English words as the rest of us, but what you did with them. The way you linked them together. You wrote poetic prose. I have on occasion stopped and re-read a single line of yours and marvelled at how perfect, how utterly perfect your command of words really was.
The characters you created stepped off the page and said, “This is my life story.” Every one so believable and utterly unforgettable. So today Mr Bradbury I will remember you and will read your immortal stories again.
I know we will teach our grandchildren to love fiction and the power of imagination. “Look!” we will say. “There was once a man, a great man. He made the world a better place by writing stories that were unlike any other. He is gone but the stories remain. Read them and know him as we knew him.”
You were the wild and childlike prophet of a thousand possible futures. You lived and lived and lived. And now you are dead.
There will never be another human being like you and there will never be another story by you. So fuck you Ray Bradbury.
“Recreate the world in your own image and make it better for your having been here.”
- Ray Bradbury, speech at Brown University (1995)