The first Wednesday of the month means it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Alex J. Cavanaugh.
I would normally talk about my current struggles on the path to publication, but today something else has occurred that eclipses my everyday fears and writing hardships. Today I leaned that Ray Bradbury has died.
It’s always a shock to learn that one of your idols has died, but for me this death is particularly sorrowful. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is one of the first science fiction novels I remember reading for a school assignment, and has stayed with me ever since. While I’m not sure I comprehended it in its entirety as a child, I later recognized it as one of the first overtly political novels I ever read, and perhaps my first experience with social commentary through fiction. It inspired an early love for dystiopian writing – which while wildly popular today in the young adult market, was much more obscure when I was in middle school – and I still read Fahrenheit 451 at least once every year.
I’ve since read many other of Ray Bradbury’s works, and he remains one of my favorite authors to this day. And as ridiculous as this may sound to all of you out there who love reading novels on your Kindles, Nooks and iPads, one of the main reasons I’ve refused to purchase and e-reader is an fervent fear that they’re the first step toward the eradication of print books – a fear first that’s origins trace back to the very first time I read Fahrenheit 451. Of course in the novel books were banned and burned as an act of government censorship rather than the product of digital technology . . . but you can never be too careful.
Every writer has an idol they hope they one day live up to, and Ray Bradbury is one of mine. And while I doubt I’ll ever come even close to his literary excellence (a writing insecurity of mine), I’m so grateful for the influence his novels and short stories have had on my life and my work.
Ray Douglas Bradbury
August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012
Rest in Peace