Ray Bradbury was an early favourite of mine – his lyricism, excitement and sense of wonder shone through just about everything he wrote. He also produced some deliciously weird, diverting and macabre stories, and it was books like The October Country which helped me survive the stresses and tedium of school.
Some fine Ray Bradbury quotes:
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.
Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.
There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
I particularly like that last one, even though I’ve never been the jumping-off-a-cliff type.
Ray Bradbury was one of the greats, along with Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein. Like them, he is gone now, but his words will live on.