What authors complete body of work would you insist on hauling along should you find yourself shipwrecked, stranded on an island with no one to share company? Who could get you through the long nights, housing unknown predatory animals hiding the blackness and unpredictable weather fast on the approach? Who would permit you to – even if only momentarily – allow you to escape the physical confines, exchanged for wild imaginary adventures?
For me the answer is simple: Ray Bradbury.
Bradbury’s works stretched from romanticism to outright horror, but he tapped a nerve no matter the genre he aimed to target. The man had a special way with words, an eloquent prose and an imagination rivaled by very few.
He accurately predicted the future while crafting infectious science fiction. He melted the heart when writing personal, character driven stories of deeply ingrained love. He terrified when spewing genuine horror tales. The man was as versatile an author the world has ever seen, and his connection with his own works is a marvel to behold. This man not only grew to know, but grew to thoroughly love the personalities he spread across countless pages of timeless fiction.
I cannot imagine a world without Ray Bradbury. As it is, I’m deeply saddened that I didn’t get the chance to meet the man and shake his hand. His death hit me hard, as I consider him the true master of fiction and a massive influence on my own works.
I strive to be one tenth as mesmerizing as the great Bradbury. That’s just how amazing the man is.
Whether completely entangled in the joy of Summer Morning, Summer Night, terrified by the darkness of Something Wicked This Way Comes or completely awe-stricken by the futuristic complexities and dark foreshadowing of Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury never, ever lets down.
If I found myself stranded on a secluded island with nothing but a box of books written by one specific author, those books would all feature the name Ray Bradbury. I cannot live without the depth of his imagination and subsequent perfectly crafted works. He is today, and always will be my personal hero.
But the real question is this: if stranded on an island, what author’s collection of work would you take along? Who could get you through the long lonely hours without plunging into insanity?