Saturday, June 9, 2012
Say Hello to the Universe For Me, Mr. Bradbury
The world is a little less beautiful now, a little less creative. Ray Bradbury was the last of the "old guard", one of a rarefied cadre of writers the likes of which this world will never see again.
What is your favorite Bradbury story? Farenheit 451? Something Wicked This Way Comes? The Martian Chronicles? The Illustrated Man? I Sing the Body Electric!? My favorite is a short story from one of his books, S Is For Space, entitled "Pillar of Fire". I remember many times going to the library and pulling that book from the shelf (I knew its location by heart) and sitting down just to read that story. It fascinated me to enter this utopian world with clean minds, clean environment, and sterile imaginations. I always knew I wouldn't want to live in such a world with no fear, no darkness, no evil, no hate; for then how could one appreciate the opposites? I recommend this story highly. If you ever get the chance, read it. I now own a copy of S Is For Space, and will once again revisit my favorite story shortly.
So here we are, in a world without the great masters - Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Gene Rodenberry. I gaze upon my shelves and see tomes by all these and more. And I treasure them, for it is all we have left now. Their bindings, their pages, their treatises on the nature of mankind, their stories. OH! Their stories! There has been no author to come along in the last century to fill their huge shoes. We have now witnessed the end of a unique intelligence.
If there is an afterlife, I hope Ray Bradbury travels many light-years away from here to experience things even he could never dream of. I hope he meets up with Asimov, Wells, Poe, etal and explores a million ideas all at once. I hope he dines with the Martians, converses with the Andromedans, soars with the Alpha Centaurians, and watches over us Earthlings. I hope his vision of a dystopian society ala Farenheit 451 never comes to pass.