I never met him an the only thing I can with all certainty say I have read is Farenheit 451. When it comes to recognizable names in SF canon, Bradbury is up there with Asimov and Heinlein (to me) as one of the cornerstone writers of the genre – the ones whose productivity spanned not just years or decades but generations.
I heard about the passing first from John Scalzi’s post reflecting on meeting Bradbury when he (Scalzi) was 12. Today, Neil Gaiman has posted a couple of items at his site, and while I haven’t read through both posts yet, there is something that struck me, which is this:
Last week, at dinner, a friend told me that when he was a boy of 11 or 12 he met Ray Bradbury. When Bradbury found out that he wanted to be a writer, he invited him to his office and spent half a day telling him the important stuff: if you want to be a writer, you have to write. Every day. Whether you feel like it or not. That you can’t write one book and stop. That it’s work, but the best kind of work. My friend grew up to be a writer, the kind who writes and supports himself through writing.
Ray Bradbury was the kind of person who would give half a day to a kid who wanted to be a writer when he grew up.
That last line… that’s the sort of thing that makes me sad that he is no longer here. Excuse me, I need to start looking deeper into the Bradbury canon to catch up.