Ray Bradbury, one of the greatest names in science fiction and fantasy, has died. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Bradbury's daughter confirmed his death to the Associated Press on Wednesday morning. She said her father died Tuesday night in Southern California.
Author of more than 27 novels and story collections — most famously “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Dandelion Wine” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes” — and more than 600 short stories, Bradbury has frequently been credited with elevating the often maligned reputation of science fiction. Some say he singlehandedly helped to move the genre into the realm of literature.
“The only figure comparable to mention would be [Robert A.] Heinlein and then later [Arthur C.] Clarke,” said Gregory Benford, a UC Irvine physics professor and Nebula Award-winning science fiction writer. “But Bradbury, in the ‘40s and ‘50s, became the name brand.”
Much of Bradbury's accessibility and ultimate popularity had to do with his gift as a stylist — his ability to write lyrically and evocatively of lands an imagination away, worlds he anchored in the here and now with a sense of visual clarity and small-town familiarity.
. . .
“When I was born in 1920,” he told the New York Times Magazine in 2000, “the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist. TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things.”
There's more at the link.
If Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein were the 'Big Three' of science fiction and fantasy writing, Bradbury fell solidly into the tier of the writing pantheon immediately below them, along with many of his contemporaries. He became a well-known spokesman for the field. Here's an hour-long talk he delivered in 2001, in which he speaks about his writing, his inspirations, and other topics.
Rest in peace, sir. You'll be missed.