We woke up today to learn about the sad passing of Ray Bradbury. Bradbury now joins Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, and Philip K. Dick in the pantheon of science fiction. It’s a place well deserved, seeing that he effectively brought modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. His first short story, “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma,” appeared in 1938. And his last one, “Take Me Home,” was just published this week in The New Yorker‘s first special issue devoted to science fiction. During the 74 years in between, Bradbury published eleven novels, including the great Fahrenheit 451, and countless short stories. His books, now translated into 36 languages, have sold over eight million copies.
To help celebrate his literary legacy, we want to revisit two moments when Bradbury offered his personal thoughts on the art and purpose of writing. Above, we start you off with a 1970s clip where Bradbury explains why literature serves more than an aesthetic purpose — it’s actually the safety valve of civilization. (See our original post here.) And below we bring you back to Bradbury’s 2001 keynote address at Point Loma Nazarene University’s Writer’s Symposium By the Sea. There, he gives 12 essential pieces of writing advice to young writers. You can find a nice list of his tips in our original post here. And, if you’re hungering for more, let us direct you to another clip recommended by one of our readers: a lengthy talk recorded in 2005 at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.