Posted By Kathleen David on June 6, 2012
Ray Bradbury is the author of one of my all time favorite books “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. He was one of my bridging authors between children’s literature and adult literature. I loved his short stories and his slightly longer fiction. I also had the good fortune to have met the man several times and worked with him professionally.
He was large than life in person. Always there with a quip or a turn of phrase that would cause you to crack a smile even when you were feeling down. I first met him at some convention in the Southeast where he was the guest of honor. I was introduced to him as a stage manager and puppeteer. We had a pleasant conversation about puppetry that continued at dinner.
He was everyone favorite “uncle” and it was a role he relished. He was the strange “uncle” with all kinds of interesting tales to tell. I can remember one dinner that we all had with a lot of authors and editors. The conversation was all over the place. Ray was holding court and amusing the hëll out of all of us then he said something that sent a chill over the room. It felt like a ghost had walked in and sat down with us. Which reminded us that Ray had the ability to change the mood with a few words. He did this with his stories. They would be going one way and they would turn another path that you didn’t see coming.
A number of years later Del Rey was releasing Fahrenheit 451 and we wanted to release it with the original cover which was pretty darn cool cover. We checked our book morgue to see if we still had a copy. No copy to be found. So Ray sent us his author copy of the book which we used, slightly torn cover and coffee ring and all. The cover made the paperback look like a well used book. I would talk to him and his wife by phone dealing with various details for the reprints. I was sorry to hear that his wife passed away back in 2003. She was a really pip.
So I plan to drag out my copy of Something Wicked and S is for Space and reread some of my favorite stories of a true wordsmith.
Rest in Peace Ray. You were a giant among men. My sympathies to his family and friends. His loss will be felt by many.
I am grateful for the time I spent with Ray Bradbury.