Upon his passing in 2012 at the age of 91, The New York Times declared Ray Bradbury “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.”
As one of the most preeminent American authors of the 20th and 21st centuries, Bradbury began writing stories as a child during the Great Depression. He spent much of his youth in the library, devouring the works of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Edgar Allen Poe, and began publishing sci-fi stories in fanzines by the age of 18.
Bradbury was a “builder of dreams,” according to fellow fantasy writer Neil Gaiman:
The man who took an idea of the American Midwest and made it magical and tangible, who took his own childhood and all the people and things in it and used it to shape the world. The man who gave us a future to fear, one without stories, without books.
From the ’30s up until his death, Bradbury created a prolific body of literary work spanning novels, short stories and screenplays. Blending political commentary with the potential perils of modern technology, his love of books is brilliantly distilled in the modern dystopian masterpiece Fahrenheit 451.
Gathered from Sam Weller’s Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews via LitHub, read on for a list of books Bradbury loved. Complement with the reading lists of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin and Ernest Hemingway.
“Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world.” -RB
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