Ray Bradbury – author of The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451 has died at the age of 91 at his California home.
Arguably one of the most widely read science fiction writers of that generation (a strong case can be made that with Fahrenheit 451 being on many school syllabuses around the world, he is one of the most read writers of his generation regardless of genre) his work is appreciated far and wide. His stories were easy on the eye with such clarity of its concepts and astute analysis of humanity. His appeal was broad and relevant to the time; part of the philosophy of The Martian Chronicles was that freely available travel to Mars would kickstart the Civil Rights Movement as black Americans bought rockets en masse to travel to the new world.
I have discussed Fahrenheit 451 extensively on this blog already, particularly my feelings on how had it been written today, the government minister might have been telling the truth when he explains to Montag that books are burnt because the population does not like to be challenged. I still feel the same way, especially more so in 2012 where barely a day goes by without some group or organisation professing outrage at this or book because it has ideas they don’t like. Book banning (getting them removeded from schools or libraries) is the new book barbecue.
These are the only two novel by the man I have so far read (and a handful of short stories) and I have enjoyed them thoroughly and thought about their respective messages a lot. Ray Bradbury authored nearly 100 novels and anthologies. It is my hope that his work will be remembered for generations to come.