Well, somebody had to discover Ray Bradbury.
After I became addicted to “The X-Files” in 1994, all that changed. I started reading Bradbury, Asimov and a disorganized collection of others in the genre to discover how these great minds figured into my breakthrough moment with this weird TV show.
It wasn’t just the great science fiction writers that inspired the stories of Mulder and Scully, of course. I loved Bradbury in particular for “Fahrenheit 451″ because at any point in time, some zip code in America is always up for a good book-burning. I learned, as all lovers of science fiction do, that the monsters and aliens were just mirror images of ourselves at our worst and sometimes at our best.
Bradbury also came up with probably my favorite quote about creativity: ”If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday. He ignored a traditional writer’s education yet was incredibly generous teaching everything he knew to people who were afraid to write. And maybe I was one of the last people to know this, but today’s wonderful New York Times obit tells you exactly who discovered Ray Bradbury.
When you see it, it’ll make you smile.