In case you live under a rock and haven’t yet heard, Ray Bradbury, sci-fi author extraordinaire, has passed away at the age of 91. Unless, of course, you subscribe to the following theory:
Ray Bradbury has not died. He has dissipated and become one with the Force.
— Literary Agent Vader (@AgentVader) June 6, 2012
I thought that was pretty darn fantastic myself. I read some of Bradbury’s short stories in school, including one set on Mars and one mentioned by Chuck Wendig this morning (if you click through to his post, you can find a link to the story – I believe it’s called “The Veldt”). But the story of his that sticks with me the most is Fahrenheit 451. I read it my freshman year of college – I was ridiculously excited to be granted entrance into the “Banned Books” section of IS101 (Inquiry Studies: Asking Questions, Making Choices) – and it was probably my favorite of all the books we read that term. I remember thinking how strange some of the technology sounded then and now when I think about it, I think how strange it is that some of that technology is very close to some of our existing technology (extra-large television, anyone?). I just read this book ten years ago – it’s amazing how much things can change in just a decade.
Anyway, I think what bothered me the most about the book was that people were forbidden to read. I can’t imagine not reading; I love to read and the thought of anyone trying to deprive me of my books is not a thought worth having. That’s the stuff of nightmares, it is. I hope I never have to live where books are forbidden, where owning them will send firemen to your door with the sole aim of burning your treasured collection.
I’m leaving for a camping trip with the family this weekend. It will be a great chance to unwind and unplug from this modern world of ours, so don’t worry if I’m MIA for a few days – I’ll be back. But I think I’ll pack Fahrenheit 451 to read while we’re gone. For rest and relaxation, nothing beats settling in with a favorite book.
To Ray Bradbury, may he rest in peace.
(c) 2012. All rights reserved.
- Ray Bradbury 1920-2012 (tor.com)