"Ray Bradbury wrote three great novels and three hundred great stories. One of the latter was called 'A Sound of Thunder.' The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant's footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty." - Stephen King
"The landscape of the world we live in would have been diminished if we had not had him in our world." - Neil Gaiman
I'm not going to cover all the ground that's been covered by so many others in the past week. For the purposes of this blog, I'm going to talk a little bit about Bradbury's ventures into the realm of horror in particular. Although best known for his sci-fi, the author did indeed also have a great love for its more visceral, emotion-based cousin genre. In fact, it was from the works of Edgar Allan Poe that a very young Bradbury was first opened up to the power of genre fiction while nurturing his love of reading in the public library of Waukegan, Illinois. Yet another defining moment was his parents taking him to see Lon Chaney in The Hunchback of Notre Dame as a small child.
Like Victor Hugo, Bradbury would also come to have his works adapted for the screen in later years--both big and small. Some of the more prominent adaptations would be derived from his works of horror--most notably the 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, which was turned into one of the most chilling horror films of the 1980s. But his relationship with the movies began even earlier, in 1953, and was connected with his horror dalliances more than anything else.
|A scene directly inspired by Bradbury's short story.|
The Bradbury/Harryhausen friendship would become the stuff of genre legend (the two first met at the age of 18 at the home of none other than Forrest J. Ackerman), as would the sci-fi scribe's early association with comic strip icon Charles Addams. Before there was an Addams Family, Bradbury and Addams collaborated in the 1940s on a series of comically macabre stories revolving around a family called The Elliotts--collected in the 2001 volume, From the Dust Returned.
|One of the EC issues featuring Bradbury's work.|
Ray Bradbury was a shining light in the firmament of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. He was one of the last living connections to a truly amazing era in speculative fiction, and as The New York Times observed, may have been the one author most responsible for bringing science fiction into the mainstream. A giant of imaginative literature, he will be missed by fans of horror who have come to love and be inspired by his many fascinating forays into our genre.