Tag Archives: ray bradbury

To Ray Bradbury, With Love

I can’t really offer anything new. What can I say that isn’t a pale echo of the words sounding out all over the world right now. One planet, one universe, wasn’t big enough to contain Ray Bradbury. So he chose everywhere, and brought love, and joy, and excitement, and beauty to all the lives he touched. Yet, saying nothing doesn’t feel right either. He gave me words. The least I can do is offer some in return.

The death of a stranger has never affected me like this before. But then, there’s never been a stranger who has known me so completely, gone all the way to the core of me, and shaped my very being. There has never been a man like Ray Bradbury.

I’m ashamed to say, the first time I met Ray Bradbury, I didn’t remember him. I only learned later, much later, that a story of his was included in an anthology I read when I was very young. The first time I remember meeting him was in high school, reading Fahrenheit 451. I was intrigued, I wanted more, but I hadn’t yet been swallowed whole. So I’m not going to talk about either of those times. I’m going to talk about the moment I fell in love.

It was in the summer. When else could it be? Only summer, or Halloween. We went to Cape Cod every year. And every year I brought a massive of stack of books with me. After reading Fahrenheit 451, I knew I needed to spend more time with Mr. Bradbury. I needed to get to know him better. We’d had one conversation, a brief meeting, and there was a connection. I snapped up the two books of his that were currently available at my local library – Death is a Lonely Business and A Graveyard for Lunatics – and off we went to the slate-colored sea. For the most part, the Cape is too cold for swimming, especially early in the season. Leaden skies and cold water, and sand not all cluttered up with sunshine – that’s what beaches mean to me. That, and reading.

So I settled down with Death is a Lonely Business. Waves crashed, and a breeze tasting like salt tangled my hair and left crystals on my skin. And there was ticket-punch confetti, and the aching loneliness of death walking the aisle of a swaying train, the feverish passion of a young writer, the bitterness of an aging detective and a forgotten movie star, a jungle backyard, a rotting pier, and movie magic. Oh! I was lost. I was in love. There were carnivals waiting for me, and the veldt, there was Halloween, and all of summer in a day. I never ever looked back. I never will.

I didn’t ever have the good fortune to meet Mr. Bradbury in person, but I feel I knew at least a little piece of him through his writing. What is more fundamental about an author than their love for words? Ray Bradbury understood magic, and wonder. And he’s far too big for death as well. So, though he may be gone from this world, he isn’t gone, really. We’ll carry him to the vastness of space, and they will read his books on Mars with golden eyes. And he will live forever.

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Scattered

1) For authors who have submitted, or who may submit, to the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, there has been some minor shifting of our deadlines. There are also a few announcements of things that have been and things to come, which you can read about here.

2) The Children of Main Street made Locus’ 2010 Recommended Reading List, which means that’s it’s also on the Locus Award Ballot, not even as a write-in or anything. Given that I only had two stories printed or pixelated last year, I can legitimately say that half of everything I had published in 2010 made it onto the Locus Recommended Reading List. So there.

C) If anyone happens to have a spare $45,000 lying around, they should totally buy this, and give it to me. Just saying.

4 or D) I really shouldn’t compensate for stress by increasing my caffeine intake. Feeling rushed, fragmented, and distracted FASTER doesn’t particularly benefit anyone.

Fiv-E) Septa wins the fail war. Today, I was forced to disembark from a train because the engine managed to break in such a way that it could only go backwards.

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Book Exchange Redux

Back at the end of October I proposed participating in Neil Gaiman’s new holiday tradition of an All Hallow’s Eve book exchange, and some of you were kind enough to play along. So…how did it go? What did you get? What did you give? If you’ve read the book you received, what did you think? Should we do it again next year, and try to get more people to join in the fun? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments, or link to a post of your own, if you’re so inclined. My take below…

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Summer of Love: Day Nineteen

Another rainy day in the park…

Summer of Love

…and another tribute to Ray Bradbury, this one with less boobs.

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Summer of Love: Day Eighteen

Contrary to the weather’s best efforts, the world didn’t end yesterday, so here are these…

Summer of Love

Summer of Love

On a completely unrelated note, I have mixed feelings about this video, but I feel the need to share regardless. On one hand: Oh my God she’s going to damage that autographed copy what the hell is she doing?! On the other hand, I find it amusing. Also, the song is disturbingly catchy, and now that it’s stuck in my head, I refuse to suffer alone! Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury. Oh, yeah, and if you’re offended by references to sex and use of language, then you probably shouldn’t watch this video…or be on the internet.

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Now and Forever

It’s the title of his latest work but it also describes my love for Ray Bradbury.

There are things that come along at certain pivotal moments in your life, turning points in your psyche perhaps, that are then absorbed and become a fundamental part of your being. The times don’t have to be special, the things don’t have be to anything that would generally be considered “life changing”, but they are special to you, and they change your life. Discovering Batman was one of those right-time, right-thing combinations for me. The works (I wrote words the first time, which seems fitting) of Ray Bradbury are another.

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October Reading

October is upon us. The leaves are starting to turn. There is a distinct chill in the air. It’s the time of year when all around the world young men and women’s minds turn to horror. And if, like me, you find yourself craving something dark, here are some suggestions to help you celebrate the holidays.

Certain books and stories feel like certain seasons. Arguably, all of Ray Bradbury’s works have a hint of October about them – some with a bittersweet touch of summer – but those with the strongest affinity for this liminal time of year are The October Country (duh), From the Dust Returned and The Halloween Tree.

For some not-strictly-traditional short horror, try Outsiders: 22 All-New Stories From the Edge edited by Nancy Holder and Nancy Kilpatrick.

For something old and something new, how about The Best of H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman?

Or if you prefer to keep it all in the family, there’s always It by Stephen King and Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

And of course, I can’t resist giving yet another shout out to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Trilogy collected by Alvin Schwartz.

Obviously this list is by no means exhaustive, they’re just a few titles off the top of my head. What about you? What do you like? Recommend something for October – a ghost story, a quiet tale of terror, a psychological thriller, some humorous horror, a creeping yarn that crawls under the skin, or a flat out blood-soaked piece of splatterpunk. I’m not picky – bring it on!

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