Inspired by the possibilities created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells, legendary fantasy writer Raymond Douglas Bradbury (1920-2012) transformed a love of magic and vivid dreams to his writing at a young age.
"Sometimes I think I understand everything. Then I regain consciousness," he observed.
Born on this day in Waukegan, Illinois, the son of a power lineman, Bradbury once described his remarkable creations as "speculative fiction." "I donít write science fiction," he clarified. ĎI write about whatís possible."
With a cache of hundreds of books, short stories, screenplays, essays, and poems, the prolific Bradbury's masterpieces include The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and Fahrenheit 451 (1953), the classic tale of a totalitarian society where books are illegal. A genius of social criticism, Bradbury used his books to warn of censorship and technological destruction.
"My answer to growing old at any age, whether youíre growing to be twenty, or forty, or sixty, or eighty, is to fall in love and stay in love," he said. His literary vision was a colorful celebration of past and future, darkness and light, delight and horror.
"You can't try to do things; you simply must do them," said Bradbury, a masterful storyteller who changed the world with his words.
His lifelong motto? "Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down."
Let your beautiful stuff out.