The world of science fiction and fantasy mourns the loss of the great Ray Bradbury, who died today at age 91. The author of classics that helped defined the genre, his works included books like Farenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Martian Chronicles. One of the greatest thrills of my life was my Ray/Ray interview with pioneering special effects master Ray Harryhausen and his best friend since childhood, Ray Bradbury.
Bradbury was nattily attired in suspenders and a tie featuring grinning jack o’lanterns.
“We met through our mutual love of dinosaurs. King Kong inspired us both. “The Lost World” — nothing like it had been done. My first influence was Lon Chaney. I have total recall from birth on, and I can remember when I was very young seeing “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Then “Phantom of the Opera.” These things teach you about love, falling in love, stories for a lifetime. Then there was Buck Rogers when I was nine. I got the job of reading the comic strips on the radio. My pay was tickets to the movies — “King Kong,” “Murders in the Wax Museum.” I was rich! Because we are surrounded by reality, which is stupid, we fall in love with Beauty and the Beast, Jack the Giant Killer. When I was five years old, I fell in love with fairy tales. Love what you do and do what you love and forget about the money. I wanted to become a magician, and I did, didn’t I?”