Ray Bradbury: Love Long and Prosper

Ray_bradbury_1Ray Bradbury greets the audience, saying he fell in love, and with his loves changing, he met many fortunes.

He's preserved these loves all his life. In 1939, he saw Buck Rogers and "he forced me to jump into the future and I never came back. He loved the drawings and illustrations of Mars that appeared in books and periodicals. In his twenties, he began to write short stories about Mars.

He said he always wanted to be a playwright. Instead of going to school, he went to the library. To this day, his favorite place is in the center of a library, surrounded by the great writers in history.

From the age of 12 he's written everyday of his life, he says.

"Be your own person. Don't listen to anyone else. You must love what you do and do what you love." He says that he learned to "get rid of anyone who doubted me."

His first stories appeared in "Weird Tales."

Writing "is what I loved. That's the thing that I must tell you over an over." All these things he learned in the library, he says.

And "be careful to whom you listen."

He explains that through the years "he wrote his Martian stories" his young wife supported them. He told the story of traveling to New York City and talking to a prospective publisher, who suggested to him that he might want to weave all the Martian stories he had written into a tapestry and call it the "Martian Chronicles."

He stayed up all night to put the material together into an outline for his prospective editor, which paid him $700 the next day. On that very day, he sold the Illustrated Man to the same buyer for $700 as well.

He told a story about running to a carnival to see "Mr. Electrical" and the "Illustrated Man" at the age of twelve, "exchanging philosophies" with the people who worked there, one of whom believed that the young boy was the reincarnated comrade who had been killed in World War I.

He also recounts the story of writing Fahrenheit 451 over a period of days in a library "to protect that library" - he said he worried about Hitler's burning of books.

Having given us examples of all his loves and where they had led he said, "jump and build your wings on your the way down."

Answering questions, he said Edgar Rice Burroughs was the inspiration for his Martian stories. "Once you know how to read and write, you know how to think."