Christopher Moore's Blog

Miscellany from the Author Guy

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Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

June 6th, 2012 · 12 Comments

I was 12, and although I’d been reading voraciously since I was six, I don’t think it ever occurred to me that there was someone actually telling the stories. Then I read a book called “R is for Rocket,” and before I’d finished, I picked up “S is for Space,” the “The Martian Chronicles” and so it went. Maybe because the books were of short stories, maybe because they were so masterfully crafted, but I suddenly realized that there was an artist there, behind the stories, putting them together, making me grin and shiver with fear and delight, leading me down the path of outrageous imagination to other worlds, times, and consciousnesses.Ray Bradbury made me aware of the art and craft of fiction, and soon thereafter I realized that I wanted to be that guy, the teller of stories. To this day, I will look to his stories for clues for how to better perform my craft. You need go no further than Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn”, about a lonesome sea monster that falls in love with a fog horn see Ray’s direct influence on my work. I read it a dozen times when I was writing The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.The first time of many that I heard Ray speak, at the Santa Barbara Writer’s conference in 1982, he said, “If a writer introduces an idea, then leaves in lying there, doesn’t do anything with it, then it’s yours. It’s yours, to do with what you want!” He had a breathy, conspiratorial way of talking to an audience — a sort of, “isn’t it cool! isn’t it amazing!? aren’t we lucky!?” way of talking about writing.

Yes, Ray, it is. It is! We are!
Thanks for the sea monster, Ray. Thanks for turning on the light so I could write.

Ray Bradbury was bright champion of imagination, an inspiration and an icon. He shall be so ever after.

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Deborah Paree // Jun 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I loved Ray Bradbury. I read “Something Wicked This Way Comes” about every 3-4 years. I still cannot believe how he turned poetry into horror and horror into poetry. RIP Ray and I’m so happy to still have The AuthorGuy around…live long and write well.

  • 2 Lisa B // Jun 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Eloquent and touching, Author Guy. As my favourite authors from my younger days begin to pass (Maurice Sendak and Ray Bradbury in just a few weeks), I’m ever so grateful that I can go back and spend time with them by picking up one of their books. It’s a unique relationship, author and reader, and so often reading an old favourite is like spending time with a good friend — a good friend who inspires you or makes you laugh or scares the bejeebers out of you. It’s a solemn day when they go to that Big Writers’ Conference in the Sky, but aren’t we glad they leave their stories behind?
    Thanks for today’s thoughts.

  • 3 Stanalei Fletcher // Jun 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    For me, the epiphany that there was a writer behind words came when reading Bradbury’s short story Chrysalis. Can’t quite explain why, either. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Love Steve, BTW.

  • 4 Rob L. // Jun 17, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Nice. It’s really cool to see an author whose work I enjoy so much write so lovingly and genuinely of his influences.

  • 5 Mark Keigley // Aug 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Along these lines I use a signature quote of his on my story postings over at Baen’s Bar (under the Mark Wolf pen name) It is:

    My stories run up and bite me on the leg – I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.
    💡 Ray Bradbury

  • 6 Joe Hood // Feb 3, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Thank you for coming along before we lost Ray. I needed to know that ugly beauty would still be alive. Good-bye, Ray. Hello, Chris. A lot of us need you

  • 7 Alexander Arno // Mar 20, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Thanks a lot for your stories, Chris. Your books are amazing. Forgive me, but I think that you’re better writer than Ray. That’s because of your irony and craft in telling tales. I can’t wait for movies based on your books. Hope that Hollywood do it well for you, for us)))

  • 8 David Kaye // Jul 5, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Two of my most prized posessions:

    My autographed copy of Fahrenheit 451 and my autographed copy of The Illustrated Man.

    Thing is, Ray only signed Fahrenheit…

    Was at a signing by Christopher Moore, and he ended up talking about Bradbury. I had a copy of the Illustrated Man in my bag, so I got him to sign it too. My theory was, I’d probably never get to meet Bradbury, but since Chris had… he should probably sign my book.

    An amazing and bizarre collectible, joining two of my favorite authors. Thanks to both of you.


  • 9 John Millard // Sep 10, 2013 at 3:27 am

    I was introduced to Ray Bradbury in school (the best part of my school experience). I read Dandelion Wine and then The Illustrated Man. I was maybe 12 and unlike you had not read much of anything up to then. I was hooked. I have been trying to read David Sedaris and do like him but have yet to have the falling out of bed experience. You are better in my humble opinion. So pleased to see a new book is in the works. I have read all of yours and am in the process of recruiting more fans so of course I have some first/first’s and also paperbacks which I loan out. Do hope you will be coming to West Chester, PA again next Spring. I will either bring more people or buy multiple books as gifts. When you get a chance go to our site and let us know what baked good you will require to sign Practical, Griff, Dirty, Lamb, Coyote and a few of your new release :-).

  • 10 chris // Sep 10, 2013 at 8:37 am

    It’s looking good for West Chester so far. See you there, I hope.

  • 11 David Temple // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Thank you, Chris for the memorial to Ray. I had the privilege of meeting him several times over the years – in high school we were able to buy a day of his time and aside from the general assembly, he spoke with the creative writing and AP English classes. He and I discussed Uncle Einar, briefly and script writing when I bumped into him at a bookstore in Hollywood once.
    He will be missed.

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