As he had done for decades, he continued to write every day, trying to produce at least 1,000 words, in the basement of his home in the Cheviot Hills section of Los Angeles and to make frequent visits to book fairs, libraries and schools.
His writings ranged from horror and mystery to humor and sympathetic stories about the Irish, blacks and Mexican-Americans.
Mr. Bradbury also scripted John Huston’s 1956 film version of “Moby Dick” and wrote for “The Twilight Zone” and other television programs, including “The Ray Bradbury Theater,” for which he adapted dozens of his works.
He rose to literary fame in 1950 with “The Martian Chronicles,” a series of intertwined stories that satirized capitalism, racism and superpower tensions as it portrayed Earth colonizers destroying an idyllic Martian civilization.
His stories continue to be taught at high schools and universities.
“Kids still read him. They still love him. People come and go, but he’s one of those writers who continually engages young people. I think his legacy is going to last for a long time,” said Luis J. Rodriguez, author of “Always Running.” He added that Mr. Bradbury’s work helped inspire him to become a writer.
“The Martian Chronicles,” like Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End” and the Robert Wise film “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” was a Cold War morality tale in which imagined lives on other planets serve as commentary on human behavior on Earth. It has been published in more than 30 languages, was made into a TV miniseries and inspired a computer game.
The “Chronicles” also prophesized the banning of books, especially works of fantasy. It was a theme Mr. Bradbury would take on fully in the 1953 release, “Fahrenheit 451.”
Inspired by the Cold War, the rise of television and the author’s passion for libraries, it was an apocalyptic narrative of nuclear war abroad and empty pleasure at home. (Mr. Bradbury said he had been told that 451 degrees Fahrenheit was the temperature at which texts went up in flames).
It was Mr. Bradbury’s only true science-fiction work, according to the author, who said all his other works should have been classified as fantasy. “It was a book based on real facts and also on my hatred for people who burn books,” he told The Associated Press in 2002.
A futuristic classic often taught alongside George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Mr. Bradbury’s novel also anticipated today’s world of iPods, interactive television, electronic surveillance and live, sensational media events.
Francois Truffaut directed a 1966 movie version and the book’s title was referenced — without Mr. Bradbury’s permission, the author complained — for Michael Moore’s documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Although involved in many futuristic projects, including the New York World’s Fair of 1964 and the Spaceship Earth display at Walt Disney World in Florida, Mr. Bradbury was deeply attached to the past. He refused to drive a car and shunned flying, saying a fatal traffic accident he witnessed as a child left him with a lifelong fear of automobiles. In his younger years he got around by bicycle or roller-skates.
Mr. Bradbury’s literary style was honed in pulp magazines and influenced by Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, and he became the rare science fiction writer treated seriously by the literary world.
In 2007, he received a special Pulitzer Prize citation. Seven years earlier, he received an honorary National Book Award medal for lifetime achievement, an honor given to Philip Roth and Arthur Miller among others.View Entire Story
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