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Tribute To Sci-Fi Author Ray Bradbury

Updated on September 14, 2015

For Ray Bradbury (1920 - 2012)

In 1971 a crater on the Moon was named "Dandelion Crater" by Apollo 15 astronauts in remembrance of Ray Bradbury's coming-of-age book, the semi-autobiographical "Dandelion Wine." It is one of his most popular novels.
In 1971 a crater on the Moon was named "Dandelion Crater" by Apollo 15 astronauts in remembrance of Ray Bradbury's coming-of-age book, the semi-autobiographical "Dandelion Wine." It is one of his most popular novels. | Source

I am that special freak, the man with the child inside who remembers all.

— Ray Bradbury

Mr. Ray Bradbury, Age 91.

His prolific works handled many topics in ways that we had not imagined before he approached them with his singular talents. Coincidentally, they even included community, home, and health.

I will never forget his TV scripts for I Sing the Body Electric/The Electric Grandmother, or his stories about Uncle Einar, the vampire. In the first, an android took care of children in a family when their mother died and came back when they were old to care for them again. In one of the latter, Uncle Einar allowed his nieces and nephews to attach him to rope and fly him as a kite in a kite flying celebration when their own kite was ruined. Ray Bradbury wrote for over 71 years, not quite as long as did Lilian Jackson Braun.

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

— Ray Bradbury
The author's silhouette.
The author's silhouette. | Source

A Library Basement

Mr. Bradbury wrote his famous novel Fahrenheit 451 in the same manner that I had to write my first college papers, in light of the fact that I had no computer or even a typewriter of my own. He typed that book at the UCLA library basement on electric typewriters that charged 10 cents per 30-minute session.

I remember cranking out papers on those machines (the cost rose to 20 cents in my day) ! The cost of typing Fahrenheit 451? -- Reportedly, $9.80 for 49 hours of work.

That was my favorite quality about Ray Bradbury besides his imagination - he made things happen. He once said that he believed that the Universe created us, that it literally shouted us into existence and that our whole lives should be shout in return. Even after a stroke that required the use of a wheelchair, Ray Bradbury continued to write every day of his life until he died. He probably took his pen with him.

At age 91. Bradbury was still going out to literary conclaves - bookstore events, library fundraisers, anything to help literature, reading, and people that need and want to read. We can do the same in our own communities.

Space travel has again made children of us all.

— Ray Bradbury

Mrs. Bradbury

The other favorite quality of this author concerns his wife as well. Marguerite Bradbury worked full-time so that Ray could have the freedom to write at any hour of the day or night - at the same time as raising four daughters.

Mr. and Mrs. Bradbury provided a community of fantasy-horror-Sci-Fi-humor enthusiasts with unmatched literature and poetry while they built one of the finest examples of a home that I can imagine.

The four Bradbury daughters are all alive today in 2013, but Mrs. Bradbury died in 2003. The author and his wife were married for 56 years and her loss must have been one of the most difficult for him.

Carnivals, Side Shows and the Circus

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Born In Waukegan, Illinois In August, 1920

Waukegan, Illinois:
Waukegan, IL, USA

get directions

Circuses rolled up to the outskirts of smalltown Waukegan & Bradbury had a look. The world of the circus inspired him to write things to last fore

Running Away with the Circus

Bradbury wrote about the circus, one of my favorite events, and he wrote about horror. Sometimes he combined the two, as in Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dark Carnival. He wrote the Martian Chronicles and made us want to find another human-like civilization on Mars...too bad we found only rock and dust, some bacteria, and a few drops of water. There's mining to be done though, and we'll be our own Martians - that scenario appears in another story, by the way: They Were Dark and Golden-Eyed.

Ray wrote the script for Moby Dick in the 1950s and he wrote for the Twilight Zone. How fortunate we are to have all of that on film! All this while, science fiction is not yet fully respected by The Overseers, such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and all the rest.

However. Ray Bradbury received a Pulitzer Prize for his lifetime of work -- A Pulitzer Prize for Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

Considering Bradbury, who nows which of us might achieve a writing career of 30, 60 or 71 years?

Choose a day of remembrance and write in honor of your on favorite author. Dedicate something to him or her.

Ray Bradbury became a fulltime writer in 1947 at the age of 27. His first major work was completed in 1950 as a novel - The Martian Chronicles. It was filmed as a 4-hour miniseries and is in high demand as a collector's item, often seen at certain science fiction conventions.

The Martian Chronicles
The Martian Chronicles
A tale of Mars and Martians as we imagined them before the first rovers set down planetside and discovered wastelands of fine sands.

Influences On the Bradbury Writing

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Barsoom green Martial race - Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels.Frank L. BaumHorror Films - Ray Bradbury moved to Los Angeles as a child and lived their all his life. He saw the classic horror films as a child. HG Wells.
The Barsoom green Martial race - Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels.
The Barsoom green Martial race - Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels. | Source
Frank L. Baum
Frank L. Baum
Horror Films - Ray Bradbury moved to Los Angeles as a child and lived their all his life. He saw the classic horror films as a child.
Horror Films - Ray Bradbury moved to Los Angeles as a child and lived their all his life. He saw the classic horror films as a child.
HG Wells.
HG Wells.



When Bradbury Began to Write

Bradbury often told the story of how, at age 12 during the Great Depression, he met a wonderful carnival magician. This Mr. Electrico ended his performance that time with young Ray probably in the front row, because the magician reached out with his sword to the boy,

Electro touched Ray with his sword as if knighting him and commanded, "Live forever!"

The youngster became exited by the idea of such longevity and began writing every day until he was 91. Thus, Ray Bradbury acutally wrote for 79 years, although the earliest pieces of his childhood script are gone to dust somewhere.

You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

— Ray Bradbury

What is your favorite novel, short story, TV episode, movie, or speech by Ray Bradbury? Feel free to leave it or them in the Comments below!

© 2013 Patty Inglish MS


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I tried to type a term paper on one of those types of typewriters once and am amazed that he did a whole book on one. Quite a guy!

    • aa lite profile image

      aa lite 

      7 years ago from London

      An excellent tribute! I love the story of how he typed up Fahrenheit 451 in the UCLA library basement. I didn't know that.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you, Danny Lee Graham! Your comments are very nice and uplifting.

      Ghost32 - That's a great Hub you wrote!

    • Danny Lee Graham profile image

      Danny Lee Graham 

      7 years ago from Zephyr ,Texas , near Brownwood ,Texas

      Very nice tribute ! ( Someone wonderful this way came , Mr Bradbury.)

      My first and favorite S.F. memories were gifts from Ray Bradbury.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The Hub is published--tribute to Roger Zelazny.

      I started with Burroughs in early grade school. My mother owned 2/3 of everything he'd ever written. Never saw Disney's John Carter film but deeply appreciated the books. Not sure if I've read Bradbury's circus writings; may have to rectify that oversight.

      Jules Verne hooked me with his giant squid; it was downhill from then on. :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I look forward to your next Hub, then, Ghost32! It will be a good one.

      I read Burroughs during high school summers and forgot every word of those novels, so re-read them a couple years ago - glad that I did. Probably I am the only one that liked Disney's John Carter film. Bradbury's writings that incorporate the circus are fantastic. Jules Verne I also like.

      I'l be reading your Hub when it comes out.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for this one, Patty. I've not read Bradbury's works as widely as most of the people commenting here--Fahrenheit 451, of course, but not much else. However, what struck me most strongly just now, as I skimmed his Wikipedia entry, was how much READING Ray and I had/have in common. Edgar Rice Burroughs, for example, is always the first "influential author" I list from my early reading years, plus Jules Verne and at least half a dozen others on his (Bradbury's) list.

      Additionally, your encouragement to "write a dedication" to a favorite author provided the inspiration for my next Hub.

      I'll even have to think about copying your idea of photographic dividers (as opposed to my usual double dotted lines) one of these days. Those worked very well indeed for this piece.

      Voted Up and More.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 

      7 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Excellent hub and a very beautiful tribute to a great writer. I was introduced in his work back in my school days with 'Fahrenheit 451' - as many people did I guess - and that was the doorstep to his magnificent 'world'. Thanks for sharing, Patty.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for your lovely comment, MsDora. Who knew that a slice of a photo of one's backyard in need of mowing could look good?

      Bradbury wrote a sequel to Dandelion Wine, but I like the original better.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      First off, the dividers are unique and beautiful. Thanks for sharing these inspirational insights into the life of your favorite author. Beautiful tribute and voted up.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Sharkye11 - The Veldt is certainly an excellent story to read. I agree that his writing is genius and his childhood was charmed - in LA, his mom or aunt took him to all the horror shows when he was really young and he loved the films.

      someonewhoknows - You have good choices there!

      maven101 - THANK YOU for the wonderful story! Hold on to that book with his signature, as I now you will. Your experience with Bradbury - and surely your marriage - are priceless.

      drjb - Has anyone filmed a life story of Ray Bradbury yet? Seeing the magician "knighting" young Ray would be awesome. He lived long - but not long enough for us who miss him, right?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      He was an amazing writer and person. Thank you, Patty, for this inspiring tribute to Ray Bradbury. I particularly enjoyed the anecdote of his meeting with that magician who 'knighted' him to live forever. He almost made it!

    • maven101 profile image

      Larry Conners 

      7 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Looking closely at the hotel in the film Bladerunner you will notice it is named The Bradbury, in honor of Ray Bradbury...I met Ray in 2002, a year before his lovely wife passed...He was doing a book signing for a recent republication of his Fahrenheit 451 novel...I treasure his signature and short note to my wife when she commented to Mr Bradbury that I loved his writing and had read all of his short stories, my favorite being The Wilderness......Mr Bradbury had said that " Your husband has good taste ", to which my wife replied " Yes he does, he married me " which cracked him up...His note said that " humor is the glue that holds a marriage together when things get rough, and your husband is a lucky man indeed "...He will be missed...

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Desilu Productions -loved the star trek series.

      Especially the original one with captain kirk and 2001 a space odyssey as well fahrenheit 451

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very nice tribute to Bradbury! I think I have read everything he ever wrote. My mom introduced me to him when I was nine...she had his complete short stories. I can remember reading "The Veldt" at least a hundred times. I was, and still am, awed about how much he could say in so few words. Truly a literary genius.

      This hub is fantastic. Voting and more.


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