“I don't write science fiction,” said Ray Bradbury(1920-2012) in one of his many interviews. “I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451; it’s based on reality,” he continued. The book was given this name because 451 degrees is the temperature at which paper burns. Bradbury started writing in 1937 at the start of a Plan I have been associated with for nearly 60 years.1 He was 13 and he wrote every day for the rest of his life: until the day before yesterday, 5 June 2012.2 For Bradbury science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. –Ron Price with thanks to 1Wikipedia, 7 June 2012: the Baha’i teaching plan, and 2 Bradbury chose a burial place at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles with a headstone that reads "Author of Fahrenheit 451".
You brought sci-fi into the mainstream
by writing lyrically & evocatively about
the lands of the imagination,1 but my life
of reading took me in different directions.
Your mind was ignited by reading-fever at
the age of 8; my fevers were of the body in
sport, playing, fun and games. It would be
years before my mind was ignited: my late
teens and twenties turned my imagination
loose, but not in the direction of sci-fi…..
Mine was the slow working, by sensible and
insensible degrees, of my intellect in the wide
fields of the social sciences and humanities. As
the years went on the biological, & the physical-
applied sciences kept my mind on heat…...We
occupied such different landscapes you and I,
Ray. I wish you well now that you occupy that
land of the undiscovered country from which no
man returns, a whole new world for you & your
imagination, Ray. Go to it with that same fever!!
1 Bradbury is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories. More than eight million copies of his works, published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world. Gerald Jonas, "Ray Bradbury, Master of Science Fiction, Dies at 91," The New York Times, 6 June 2012.
7 June 2012