Ray Bradbury, one of science fiction’s most influential writers, died this week. Fahrenheit 451 has been on junior high reading lists for decades, but his 500+ published works – including short stories, screenplays, TV scripts, stage plays, classic books and even poetry – have captured the imagination of all ages. He was much more than one book, and his legacy will surely be long-lived.
He was actually something of an oddball. Though he inspired most of the science fiction written in the 20th century, he was considered an anomaly in his genre, and he was a curious man in real life. His fiction was focused on the mundane, inspired by the past, and preached against the dangers of technology. Residents of Los Angeles – where he spent most of his adult life – would often catch him riding the bus, because he refused to drive a car. Chances are he was on his way to the LA Public Library, which he championed all his life.
His passing has moved many of today’s greatest artists, including Steven Spielberg and Neil Gaiman. He’s also one of our favorites at NPL, and we’re honoring him this week. Come in to enjoy some of his unusual wisdom at one of his favorite places – the public library! Explore our shelves, and check out the display at 95th Street. If you’re still intrigued, check out a review from Orty Ortwein, one of our librarians and Bradbury’s biggest fans.