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The master of science fiction


Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer and social critic, famous for his warnings about modern technology’s dark sides in short stories and novels such as “Fahrenheit 451,” died at age 91 on June 5, 2012 His daughter, Alexandra Bradbury, confirmed the death without any other details. He lived in the Cheviot Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. Bradbury recently suffered from a stroke that forced him into a wheelchair, but remained active into his 90s, turning out new novels, plays, screenplays and a volume of poetry. Bradbury was perhaps best known for “Fahrenheit 451,” a dark vision of a dystopian future in which a totalitarian society censors its citizens in almost every way of life. The title refers to the temperature at which paper burns. The book is now taught in schools today in addition to other modern classics that challenge the dangers of totalitarianism. Bradbury himself insisted that while his novel had political implications, his primary concern was propagating critical thought. “I believe, even with Bradbury’s death, his great stories will continue to be read and cherished,” says freshman Matt DelArujo. His writing career stretched across 70 years, to the last weeks of his life. Bradbury’s love for writing resulting in more than 500 published works from novels such as “Something Wicked This Way Comes” to poems, screenplays, and short stories that were compressed into chronicles, including “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man”. More than eight million copies of his books have been sold in 36 languages. “After actually reading the Martian Chronicles in class this year, I was very pleased with the story especially the ending,” says freshman Max Oge. Bradbury also wrote the screenplay for John Huston’s classic film adaptation of “Moby Dick.” He adapted 65 of his stories for television’s “The Ray Bradbury Theater” and won an Emmy for his play, “The Halloween Tree.” Bradbury received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the O. Henry Prize for short stories of exceptional merit, and a special distinguished-career citation from the Pulitzer Prize board in 2007. Bradbury was also awarded the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush in 2004. He developed a flair for public speaking and spoke on the national lecture circuit. There he talked about his struggle to decide his mixed feelings about modern life, a theme that made up much of his fiction and won him a large audience. Ray Bradbury may have passed, but his science-fiction stories will live on, continuing to be read and admired by people around the world.

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