Ray Bradbury, the author of classics such as “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked this Way Comes” and “The Martian Chronicles,” died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 91.
Bradbury was the first author I ever read whose beautiful way with words made me want to become an avid reader and maybe even planted the idea that some day I might write for a living. Looking bac as an adult critic, I can see that much of his writing was overly ornate and that his plotting was often too fanciful for the tastes of a hardcore science fiction fan. But the man and talent and vision and he was a towering influence on speculative fiction.
Bradbury especially loved autum, and his descriptions of that season have always really grabbed me:
Martin knew it was autumn again, for Dog ran into the house bringing wind and frost and a smell of apples turned to cider under trees. In dark clock-springs of hair, Dog fetched goldenrod, dust of farewell-summer, acorn-husk, hair of squirrel, feather of departed robin, sawdust from fresh-cut cordwood, and leaves like charcoals shaken from a blaze of maple trees. Dog jumped. Showers of brittle fern, blackberry vine, marsh-grass sprang over the bed where Martin shouted. No doubt, no doubt of it at all, this incredible beast was October!"