Ray Bradbury, author of classic science fiction and fantasy novels Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, has died. He was 91.
The author’s daughter, Alexandra Bradbury, confirmed with the Associated Press this morning of her father’s passing. She did not provide additional details.
Bradbury’s grandson, Danny Karapetian, released this statement about his grandfather to io9:
If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s memories about him. He influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it’s always really touching and comforting to hear their stories. Your stories. His legacy lives on in his monumental body of books, film, television and theater, but more importantly, in the minds and hearts of anyone who read him, because to read him was to know him. He was the biggest kid I know.
In addition to Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury was penned more than 27 novels and short story collections. While many credit Bradbury’s lyrical writing style with elevating the science fiction genre to respectable heights, Bradbury considered himself primarily a fantasy writer.
“I’m not a science fiction writer,” he often said, according to the L.A. Times. “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.”
The Martian Chronicles, a interweaving collection of short stories published in 1950, served as Bradbury’s breakthrough book. The stories within its pages deftly dealt with many of the issues that enveloped the Cold War era, including capitalism, racism, and the burning of books — a theme famously revisited in Fahrenheit 451.
Despite his writing about the future, Bradbury held a highly cautious view of technology. The AP reports that Bradbury refused to drive a car or fly, and regularly got around by bicycle or “roller skates.”
Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois. As he told The New York Times Magazine in 2000: “When I was born in 1920, the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn’t exist. TV didn’t exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things.”