Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)
Bradbury was born in 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. Influenced by the early stories of Science Fiction pioneers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, he started writing at an early age. In 1939, he wrote stories under several names and published them in his own magazine, Futuria Fantasia. Many of these stories are now available on the web. Eventually moving to California with his family, he spent hours in a public library every week for years, since there was no money for college. From this he learned to value books and libraries.
“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” - Bradbury
Bradbury wrote stories incorporating human dilemmas into future worlds. In many of his works he combined Fantasy and Science Fiction, with echoes of the Wild West, to describe how humans adapt. This is evident in The Martian Chronicles, stories about humans colonizing Mars. In the novel Farenheit 451, books are banned in a society that values censorship and thought control.
“I was not predicting the future, I was trying to prevent it.”- Bradbury
Bradbury's works include over 400 short stories, novels, essays, plays, screenplays, children’s books, and poetry. He won the National Medal of Arts, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, O’Henry award, and an Emmy among other awards. As a consultant for the 1964 World’s Fair, he commented
“…changing the future…it should be the function of every science fiction writer around. To offer hope. To name the problem, and then offer the solution.” - Bradbury quoted in Biography.com