Ray Bradbury is dead. We, like millions of other horror and science fiction fans around the world, knew the day was coming but dreaded it all the same. One of the great voices, the true masters, is gone.
But, thank heavens, his wonderful words remain. From Dark Carnival to The Martian Chronicles to Something Wicked This Way Comes, and all of the works in between, Bradbury will no doubt live on in the hearts and minds of readers everywhere. His works, like the memorized classics in Fahrenheit 451 will long continue to charm, amaze and cast chills.
Bradbury was much more than a magician with words and one of the world’s greatest daydreamers: He was a truly nice person. Mani and I met him at an art gallery when he came to Denver a few years back. He had the manners of a gentleman, the wit of a genius and the sparkle of a wonder-stricken boy in his eyes.
When our own novel, Abattoir, was approaching publication, we asked him if he would consider writing a blurb for the back cover. A week or two later, we received a reply, dated March 12, 2012, which made our day. His own words illustrate his personality better than we ever could:
A note from Ray Bradbury
Dear Christopher Leppek,
Thanks so much for your good letter and for thinking of me for a jacket blurb. If it were 10 or more years ago I would have been more than happy to read your manuscript but I’m now an old Martian with horrible eyesight and I’m sorry to say it just cannot be done.
I wish you all the best in the coming months and years,
Goodbye, Mr. Bradbury. And thank you.