Sad news today as legendary author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and countless other titles, Ray Bradbury has passed away.
Bradbury is best known for Fahrenheit 451, a story he famously said “wasn’t meant to predict the future but to prevent it.“ He will also be remembered for his short stories and literature regarding Mars.
Mars is Heaven!, which appeared in the Martian chronicles and was adapted into a comic book and television episode for Ray Bradbury theater, was a personal favorite. It showed that a short story could be expounded into a large idea across different mediums, and that life here on Earth might not be terribly different compared to other planets.
Sure he was deeply political (some would say radical); he called Bill Clinton a sh#thead and wanted to invoke a “revolution” reminding everyone that “the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people" but much of it was directed towards the same themes in his novels.
60 years after his short story, he directed his passion for Mars in these words directed towards President Obama:
"He should be announcing that we should go back to the moon... We should never have left there. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever."
But Bradbury’s contribution to sci-fi will never be overlooked. He will forever be credited as one of the first authors to move the genre into the forefront of literature.
If anything, Bradbury’s writings were ahead of their time, which allowed them to come at just the right time.
Our imagination and our ability to dream, to explore, to discover what life is like on Mars and on other planets within our society must fuel us as we move forward in the twenty-first century. They are what will make the difference between our society building a future that will lead towards more advanced civilizations and one that hovers in neutral.
How will we do it? In the words of the late Ray Bradbury:
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”