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Fri Jun 8, 2012, 04:08 PM

Weekend Economists Chart the Bradbury Chronicles, June 8-10,2012 [View all]

The word came out on Wednesday...Ray Bradbury had joined the immortals:

?t=1339006254&s=3

Ray Bradbury dies at 91; author lifted fantasy to literary heights

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-ray-bradbury-20120607,0,5622415.story

Ray Bradbury's more than 27 novels and 600 short stories helped give stylistic heft to fantasy and science fiction. In 'The Martian Chronicles' and other works, the L.A.-based Bradbury mixed small-town familiarity with otherworldly settings...

http://www.trbimg.com/img-4fcf688e/turbine/la-ray-bradbury1970_kqm4x5nc/600

Bradbury died Tuesday night (June 5, 2012) in Los Angeles, his agent Michael Congdon confirmed. His family said in a statement that he had suffered from a long illness.

Author of more than 27 novels and story collections—most famously "The Martian Chronicles," "Fahrenheit 451," "Dandelion Wine" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes"—and more than 600 short stories, Bradbury has frequently been credited with elevating the often-maligned reputation of science fiction. Some say he singlehandedly helped to move the genre into the realm of literature...


I can attest to that. As an avid SF reader, I grew up on the Greats in the 60's and 70's, and Bradbury was the only true writer, more than just a whiz-bang story-teller. His characters had depth and his stories had a humanity familiar to a Midwestern girl, the kind of Plains-rooted reality that doesn't exist on any of the other coasts of this continent (I've lived them all: East, West and South). It wasn't until women broke into the genre (starting with Andre Norton, and progressing through Ursula Leguin, Kage Baker, Mercedes Lackey) that Bradbury (largely retired) met any competition in the quality of writing.


http://www.trbimg.com/img-4fcf6888/turbine/la-ray-bradbury1923_kqm4zhnc/600

Ray Bradbury in 1923 in Waukegan, Ill. "“When I was born in 1920,”" he said in 2000, "“the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn’'t exist. TV didn’t exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things."”





The Bradbury family in 1958: From left, Bettina, 3; Ray; Ramona, 7; Susan, 8; and Marguerite.




Bradbury, in his office in 1985, had said he didn't throw anything away.





His Illinois hometown named a park in his honor. Bradbury (in 1990) included the setting in "Dandelion Wine."


A friend of mine, also from Waukeegan, played in this park (20 years after Bradbury did). The park itself is a character in his novel "Dandelion Wine", which I recommend everyone read. Like Mark Twain before him, Bradbury captured the experience of childhood in the United States of his time (1920-1960 it couldn't stretch much farther, since the US changed rapidly thereafter). It is the least SF, most beautiful of his works.

The LA Times did a bang-up obituary, from which all these pictures (save the first) are drawn.

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