Ray Bradbury was not my first science-fiction love; that was Isaac Asimov. He was not the writer I read most compulsively; that was (and is) Orson Scott Card. What Bradbury means to me can’t be captured in a simple label. Except, perhaps, most human.
Some fiction inspires me. Some amuses me. Some unsettles me. Bradbury frequently did all three, and he could move me from one to the other within the course of a single short piece. I read Bradbury not to be exalted or brought low, but to come at life from another angle. Often the reaction I have upon finishing a story or essay of his that I’ve never read is: “I’ve thought that way! But I could never put it into words.”
Bradbury gave me those words. (more…)