Ray Bradbury has passed away, he was 91 years old. My earliest memories of Bradbury go back to high school, when I read The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man, the latter for Mister Hart's English class. Bradbury was some of the first serious science fiction I had ever read and I am forever grateful to him. I think maybe why I loved his work so much was when I look at modern science fiction some writers can get so very much caught up in the technical side of things to such an extent that I feel, well, stupid for not being able to follow the math, as it were. With Bradbury I feel he started off with the idea for a story and the science side of it was not as important. Martians land on Earth and cannot handle the consumer culture. It doesn't matter how the martians got here or how their advanced guns work. What is important is seeing how one culture can be so utterly alien to another that exposure to it can drive another mad.
Man, I loved The Martian Chronicles.
And I love the horror aspects of some of his works. Bradbury could write children stories, stories full of optimism and hope. But the man could also write from a very, very dark place. The Illustrated Man is a great example of this. Something Wicked This Way Comes is another. I also enjoyed The Ray Bradbury Theater television program as well. I recall one episode, Banshee, starring Peter O'Toole. Again, a tremendously good horror story.