When my husband texted me while I was at work this morning and told me that Ray Bradbury had died, I briefly considered going home early. No, I never knew him, but the fact is that he had a tremendous amount of influence on me during my formative years, and I don’t even know whether or not I’d be a writer if I hadn’t come across The Martian Chronicles. No, he’s not the only amazing writer to have ever lived, but his work shook me to my intellectual core when I was fourteen, and it would have taken much longer for someone else to move me that way.
Even though I didn’t end up writing in the speculative fiction genre, Bradbury’s stories still stay with me, even though it’s been a couple of years since I read one. I still aspire to write that well. I don’t know that anyone else can write that well. But what matters is the aspiration. His work constantly drives me to be a better author.
Rest in peace, Mr. Bradbury. And thank you for giving me the gift of writing.