A week ago, author Ray Bradbury died, and I want to write this because I am disappointed that the Media has already given him his (entirely inadequate) 10 minutes on the nightly news and moved on. He deserves better.
Ray Bradbury was the best writer of short stories his generation produced. He could evoke more emotion in a dozen pages than other writers could in a thousand. Although his best known work was Fahrenheit 451, I much preferred his excellent collections of short stories, like Dandelion Wine and The Illustrated Man, and his Martian Chronicles remain the finest of all the Mars genre. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend them. His stories paint pictures that bore deep into your brain and tease out childhood recollections you thought long forgotten. His prose was the best kind of poetry; words woven together so well that you didn't even know it was poetry until you were already sucked in.
Let me use his own quotes to illustrate the man he was: "my stories have lead me through my life. They shout, I follow. They run up and bite me on the leg - I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I'm finished, the idea lets go and runs off." He writes this on growing up: " By the time most people have reached fourteen or fifteen, they have been divested of their loves, their ancient and intuitive tastes, one by one, until when they have reached maturity, there is no fun left, no zest." "I am that special freak, the man with the child inside who remembers all".
Do you want to reconnect with that magical sense of awe you had when you were little and hadn't had it beaten out of you by life yet? Back when summers lasted forever and a captured jar of fireflies was all it took to light up your face in wonder? Then take some time to sit back with a Ray Bradbury book and drink it all back in.
We won't be seeing the likes of him again anytime soon.