RonF has commented twice, now, that Ray Bradbury’s passing has passed without comment here.
I have to admit I’m a little puzzled, myself. Here we celebrate, among other things, creative endeavor, including writing and speculative fiction.
If this non-commentary state of affairs continues, I’m a little worried that RonF will do himself an injury, or worse yet, fail to contain his comment within derail tags. So, this is a thread to talk a little bit about Ray Bradbury, his writing, his accomplishments, his missteps, and so on. Especially, most especially, I would like to hear people talk about how his writing affected or influenced them.
Recently, someone asked me what my favorite movie was. Well, heck if I know. I have great affection for many movies. That goes quintuple for many books and stories. How could I possibly decide which is “best”? What would that even mean? Surely it would mean more about me than about the movie or book, and mainly it would mean I was shortsighted enough to think that a single example of any art form could be “best”.
But there are many books and stories I really, really like, and one of them is Bradbury’s: Usher II. You can find it in most editions of The Martian Chronicles. It riffs off of the work of another author whose work I enjoy, Edgar Allan Poe. The opening scene, with Stendahl and Bigelow going over the punch list, is hilarious. Beyond that, there are many spoilers, and so I can’t say much about it.
Suffice it to say that when Stendahl told Garrett to say, “For the love of God, Montressor!” I experienced a delight of anticipation so sublime that I fear I will never again experience its like. And the next few lines were undistilled, savage satisfaction.
Bradbury seemed always to have a childlike delight in thinking up new ideas and saying, “Oh, neat! Look what I found!” Some ideas were better than others, but he hit them out of the park often enough, and he didn’t linger on them and squeeze them to death, as seems to be so popular nowadays – he used as many words as he needed, and no more. He was not my favorite author, but he was in the van. It’s a large van, but he was in it.