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Remembering Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury died yesterday at the age of 91. Best known for his novel Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury was a prolific writer and a tireless advocate for libraries. My favorite work of his is the short story The Veldt, which both scared and inspired me as a kid — that story was one of the first that made me want to become a writer. You can listen to Stephen Colbert perform the story live in a stunning recording.

To remember Bradbury, I’m setting aside an hour to re-watch his speech from 2001, presented at the Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. Bradbury’s talk is gentle, practical, and engaging — the then 80-year-old writer is in fine form. My favorite line from this talk about writing: “You don’t need anything but a pad and a pencil, for Christ’s sake!” Second-favorite: “Make a list of the things you hate, and the people you hate, and write about them.”

Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for bringing speculative fiction into schools and libraries around the world. You are already missed.

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June 6th, 2012

Stranger to the World


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