Science fiction author Ray Bradbury dead at 91

Bradbury in a 2008 portrait session.

Ray Bradbury, a giant of American literature who helped popularize science fiction with works such as “The Martian Chronicles,” died on Tuesday at age 91, his publisher said on Wednesday.

Bradbury published more than 500 works including “Fahrenheit 451,” a classic novel about book censorship in a future society, and other favorites such as “The Illustrated Man” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”

“Mr. Bradbury died peacefully, last night, in Los Angeles, after a long illness,” said a spokesman for his publisher, HarperCollins.

As a science fiction writer, Bradbury said he did not want to predict the future — but sometimes wanted to prevent it. Such was the case with 1953′s “Fahrenheit 451,” the story of a totalitarian, anti-intellectual society where banned books are burned by “firemen.” The title refers to the temperature at which paper ignites.

The novel, which Bradbury wrote on a rented typewriter at the UCLA library, featured a world that might sound familiar to 21st century readers — wall-sized interactive televisions, earpiece communication systems, omnipresent advertising and political correctness.

“In science fiction, we dream,” he told The New York Times. “In order to colonize in space, to rebuild our cities … to tackle any number of problems, we must imagine the future, including the new technologies that are required …

“Science fiction is also a great way to pretend you are writing about the future when in reality you are attacking the recent past and the present.”

But for a futurist, Bradbury did not always embrace technology. He called the Internet a scam perpetrated by computer companies, was disdainful of automatic teller machines and denounced video games as “a waste of time for men with nothing else to do.”

Bradbury brought not only futuristic vision but literary sensibilities to science fiction and fantasy writing. His interest in writing began as a boy and even in his later years he liked to write daily — whether it was a novel, a short story, a screenplay or a poem.

“The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me,” he said on his 80th birthday.

Bradbury’s classic short story “The Pedestrian” is below:

Pedestrian by Bradbury 1


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.