Today is a joyously sad, weepingly happy day.
Today, we say our final goodbye to one of the world's most inventive, emotive and evocative wordsmiths.
Today, we say our final goodbye to not only one of Hallowe'en's most ardent champions, but, for fantasy readers of a certain few generations, one of the purest and most inspiring creators of Hallowe'en itself.
Raise your glasses high...
(1920 -- 2012)
He was very fond of telling the story of his meeting an old sideshow magician called Mr. Electrico who, after one especially sparkly performance, tapped his sword on the shoulder of a very young Ray, and commanded the boy to "Live forever!"
He couldn't, of course. Not physically.
But you can be damned sure he will live forever in his marvelous works.
In case -- and I mean 'in case' like 'there can't possibly be a chance' -- there are some of you who haven't read him, or really know what he created over more than seventy years, I can only refer you to his own website.
And maybe this list:
- (1950) The Martian Chronicles
- (1953) Fahrenheit 451
- (1957) Dandelion Wine
- (1962) Something Wicked This Way Comes
- (1972) The Halloween Tree
- (1985) Death Is a Lonely Business
- (1990) A Graveyard for Lunatics
- (1992) Green Shadows, White Whale
- (2001) From the Dust Returned
- (2002) Let's All Kill Constance
- (2006) Farewell Summer
- (1947) Dark Carnival
- (1951) The Illustrated Man
- (1953) The Golden Apples of the Sun
- (1955) The October Country
- (1959) A Medicine for Melancholy
- (1959) The Day It Rained Forever
- (1962) The Small Assassin
- (1962) R is for Rocket
- (1964) The Machineries of Joy
- (1965) The Autumn People
- (1965) The Vintage Bradbury
- (1966) Tomorrow Midnight
- (1966) S is for Space
- (1966) Twice 22
- (1969) I Sing The Body Electric
- (1975) Ray Bradbury
- (1976) Long After Midnight
- (1979) The Fog Horn & Other Stories
- (1980) One Timeless Spring
- (1980) The Last Circus and the Electrocution
- (1980) The Stories of Ray Bradbury
- (1981) The Fog Horn and Other Stories
- (1983) Dinosaur Tales
- (1984) A Memory of Murder
- (1985) The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone
- (1988) The Toynbee Convector
- (1990) Classic Stories 1
- (1990) Classic Stories 2
- (1991) The Parrot Who Met Papa
- (1991) Selected from Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed
- (1996) Quicker Than The Eye
- (1997) Driving Blind
- (2001) Ray Bradbury Collected Short Stories
- (2001) The Playground
- (2002) One More for the Road
- (2003) Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales
- (2003) Is That You, Herb?
- (2004) The Cat's Pajamas: Stories
- (2005) A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories
- (2007) The Dragon Who Ate His Tail
- (2007) Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band is Playing & Leviathan '99
- (2007) Summer Morning, Summer Night
- (2009) Ray Bradbury Stories Volume 2
- (2009) We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
- (2011) The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury: A Critical Edition – Volume 1, 1938–1943
Short storiesAn uncomplete listing, since the man wrote over 400 short stories...
- (1938) Hollerbochen's Dilemma
- (1938) Hollerbochen Comes Back
- (1939) Don't Get Technatal
- (1939) Gold
- (1939) The Pendulum
- (1940) The Maiden of Jirbu (with Bob Tucker)
- (1940) Tale of the Tortletwitch (as Guy Amory)
- (1941) The Trouble with Humans is People
- (1941) Pendulum (with Henry Hasse)
- (1942) The Candle
- (1943) The Scythe
- (1944) The Lake
- (1945) The Watchers
- (1945) The Big Black and White Game
- (1945) Invisible Boy
- (1946) The Traveller
- (1946) Homecoming
- (1947) I See You Never
- (1947) The Small Assassin
- (1948) Mars is Heaven!
- (1948) The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl (also published as Touch and Go)
- (1949) The Exiles (also published as The Mad Wizards of Mars)
- (1949) Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed
- (1950) I'll Not Look For Wine
- (1950) The Veldt
- (1950) There Will Come Soft Rains
- (1950) August 2002: Night Meeting
- (1951) The Fireman
- (1951) The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (also published as The Fog Horn)
- (1951) The Pedestrian
- (1952) A Sound of Thunder
- (1952) The April Witch
- (1953) The Flying Machine (short story)
- (1953) The Meadow
- (1953) Dandelion Wine
- (1954) All Summer in a Day
- (1956) The Sound of Summer Running (also published as Summer in the Air)
- (1957) Sun and Shadow
- (1958) The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (also published as The Magic White Suit)
- (1959) A Medicine for Melancholy
- (1960) The Best of All Possible Worlds
- (1962) The Machineries of Joy
- (1963) Tyrranosaurus Rex
- (1964) The Cold Wind and the Warm
- (1966) The Man in the Rorschach Shirt
- (1967) The Lost City of Mars
- (1978) The Mummies of Guanajuato
- (1969) Downwind From Gettysburg
- (1979) The Aqueduct
- (1984) The Toynbee Convector
- (1988) The Dragon
- (1994) From the Dust Returned
- (2003) Is That You, Herb?
- (2009) Juggernaut
- (1953) The Flying Machine: A One-Act Play for Three Men
- (1963) The Anthem Sprinters and Other Antics
- (1965) A Device Out of Time: A One-Act Play
- (1966) The Day It Rained Forever: A Comedy in One Act
- (1966) The Pedestrian: A Fantasy in One Act
- (1972) Leviathan '99: A Drama for the Stage
- (1972) The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Other Plays
- (1975) Pillar of Fire and Other Plays
- (1975) Kaleidoscope
- (1976) That Ghost, That Bride of Time
- (1984) Forever and the Earth
- (1986) The Martian Chronicles
- (1986) The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
- (1986) Fahrenheit 451
- (1988) Dandelion Wine
- (1988) To The Chicago Abyss
- (1988) The Veldt
- (1988) Falling Upward
- (1990) The Day It Rained Forever
- (1991) Ray Bradbury on Stage: A Chrestomathy of His Plays
- (2010) Wisdom 2116 (US)
- (1955) Switch on the Night
- (1982) The Other Foot
- (1982) The Veldt
- (1987) The April Witch
- (1987) The Fog Horn
- (1987) Fever Dream
- (1991) The Smile
- (1992) The Toynbee Convector
- (1997) With Cat for Comforter
- (1997) Dogs Think That Every Day Is Christmas
- (1998) Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines: A Fable
- (2006) The Homecoming
- (1952) No Man Is an Island
- (1962) The Essence of Creative Writing: Letters to a Young Aspiring Author
- (1967) Creative Man Among His Servant Machines
- (1978) The God in Science Fiction
- (1979) About Norman Corwin
- (1981) There is Life on Mars
- (1985) The Art of Playboy
- (1990) Zen in the Art of Writing
- (1991) Yestermorrow: Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures
- (2004) Conversations with Ray Bradbury (ed. Steven L. Aggelis)
- (2005) Bradbury Speaks: Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars
- (2007) Match to Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451
He had his faults and foibles and indiscretions and vices, like we all do. But he wrote his way through, around and out of them all during his long, magical life.
And in his final decades, he was an inspiring and outspoken advocate for taking hold of your life and making it yours, of choosing your future -- of choosing to be happy, damnit!
And oh! fellow Autumn People, the Hallowe'ens, and dusty whispers of Hallowe'ens, he constantly gave us!
I want to think he's finally at rest, though something tells me he's bounding and exploring and not sitting still now, as he wanders through the very October Country he loved while alive.
Thank you for everything.
Every single thing.
Every shadow, every grin, every mystery and marvel.
Some of my personal Bradbury treasures...
And my most treasured page...
So, our traditional toast... come on now, everyone, raise 'em high --
And rest well, old friend, knowing that you will indeed live forever.
EDIT: Can't imagine that anyone could possibly guess what this year's Hallowe'en theme is going to be...