Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Farewell, Ray.

Oh, fellow S&Pers.

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...

Ray Bradbury
(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:



Short stories

An uncomplete listing, since the man wrote over 400 short stories...


Kid's Books
This list does not include untold numbers of television and radio adaptations of his works; nor does it include the numerous audio books narrated by famous actors and by Bradbury himself, or anthologies of others' work Bradbury compiled and edited over the years.

This was a great, great man.

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!

Dear Ray.

Beloved Ray.

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.

For you now, Ray, Hallowe'en is -- at long last -- forever.

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...

Signed. Sigh.

From the deepest part of that which makes me who I am, I thank you, Ray Bradbury, for your gifts of fantasy, metaphor and ultimately, pure love.

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... 



  1. Love him. I can still recall the hair on the back of my neck feeling reading Something Wicked This Way Comes. Thanks for the lovely bibliography and the tribute Mike. He will be sadly missed by so many.

  2. Discovered him through Dandelion Wine back in 1968. Junior high English class.

    Then it was everything of his in the library. He awakened in me a love of reading--something that continues to this day.

    This Halloween is going to be a little odd--knowing that Mr Moundshroud will be traveling alone; and that Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show will be missing a ringmaster. But really, he will be there whenever the days get shorter and the leaves turn their autumn colors. October Country will forever be the place where we will meet Mr Bradbury and share a tale or two . . .

    Doesn't it seem oddly fitting that he left us on the occasion of the only transit of Venus this century?