Thursday, June 7, 2012

Master of Science Fiction dies

Ray Bradbury, a master of science fiction whose imaginative and lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own postwar America, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 91. My limited association with Mr. Bradbury began when I was in junior high (or middle school as they call it these days) in an English class that specialized in science fiction. The first book we were to read was THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. It took a giant leap a few years ago when one of my cartoon illustrations was seen by Professor John Tibbetts, English professor at KU at the Disney Hometown Toonfest. The piece was entitled "MORNING WITH MARTIAN CHRONICLE," and featured one of my Martian characters reading the morning edition of the hometown newspaper. Professor Tibbetts was friends with Mr. Bradbuy. He thought Ray would like the piece and he asked if I'd like to contact the author. "Yes, very much," was my reply. He gave me Ray's home address and phone number. I contacted Mr. Bradbury and sent him a copy of the piece. I told him that I would love to meet him sometime. He invited me to contact him the next time I was in Los Angeles. A few months later, I did exactly that. My intention was to give him the original of "MORNING WITH MARTIAN CHRONICLE." But our schedules couldn't mesh and we never met face-to-face. I did see him at the International Comic-Con (San Diego) when he and his best friend, Ray Harryhausen met on stage to talk about their work and their life-long friendship. While we exchanged only a few notes and letters, my exchange with Ray Bradbury has left and impression that will never, ever be erased. To this day, many of his books and movies based on his writings occupy my library. Thank you for an eternity of joy and wonder, Mr. Bradbury. — Mike Edholm PS - There's a slightly longer, more detailed version of this story on my blog.

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