Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Halloween Serving of Bradbury

Ray Bradbury (Photo: AP)
Halloween is nearly upon us. The folks at the EnvisionWare office are gearing up for the annual costume contest, and everyone is wondering what CEO Mike Monk will be this year. A couple years ago he was--wait for it--a monk. I personally am hoping he will finally pay homage to his doppelganger Hugh Hefner and don the velvet bathrobe. Among the employees, there is certain to be at least one wicked witch with broomstick accessory. And...dare I hope for a Justin Bieber?

Since I work out of the Arizona office, I will be emailing in a photo of an aquatic-themed ensemble that will hopefully slay the competition.

But under the surface this Halloween I will be thinking a lot about Ray Bradbury. The giant of science fiction, horror, and fantasy who so inspired me as a young boy passed away just a few months ago. Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Dandelion Wine are but three of his many classic books. Any other writer would have been happy to have written just one of those, but Bradbury, during his most fertile period (approx. 1942-1970), proved capable of spinning just about every random idea that occurred to him into literary gold.

He was a great friend of libraries too. In lieu of a college degree he boasted of having “graduated from the Los Angeles Public Library.” During an EnvisionWare trip to California a few years ago I learned that I had missed my hero by just a few days; the library staff had managed to coax him out of semi-retirement by sending him a fax (Ray didn't use a computer) stating that any reading/book signing he did would be a very effective fundraiser for the library. Apparently that's all he needed to hear: he promptly showed up to host an event.

In honor of this great man, and in the spirit of the time of year he liked best, here is a suitably unnerving Bradbury short story recently reprinted by Esquire. Enjoy!

Ray Bradbury: Last Night of the World


  1. At an early age, Elizabeth Vernon, my local librarian, told me that I should judge a book by its cover. She handed Fahrenheit 451 to me, which became one of my all time favorite reads. Great article Purple.

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