Happy birthday Ray Bradbury!

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Ray Bradbury, who has made Southern California his home since 1934, turns 88 today. He’s the author of more than 30 books, countless short stories, screenplays, poetry, plays and books for children. Not only did he write ‘Fahrenheit 451’ and ‘The Martian Chronicles’ and ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes,’ he became a pop-culture futurist who has worked with everyone from Disney to rocket scientists.

He’s also been open and available to fans and young writers. In 2001, he advised the audience at Point Loma Nazarene University’s Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea (full video below):


The problem with novels is you can spend a whole year writing one and it might not turn out well. . . . The best hygiene for beginning writers or intermediate writers is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you can write one short story a week -- doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing. At the end of the year, you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can’t be done.

Tomorrow Ray Bradbury be at the Mystery & Imagination Bookstore in Glendale at noon sharp to celebrate his 88th birthday. At his party there last year, he accepted his Pulitzer citation -- and had cake. This year the cake has a ‘Moby Dick’ theme; Bradbury wrote the screenplay for the 1956 movie.

‘I had so many heroes that I wanted to be like,’ Bradbury says in the Writer’s Symposium video. He’s been a hero to many, many more. Happy birthday, Mr. Bradbury!

More Bradbury video clips after the jump.

On the inspiration for ‘The Martian Chronicles.’

Bradbury detailed some of his vision of the future in an advertisement for, of all things, prunes, in the 1960s (via):

Too bad we’re not traveling in pneumatic tubes yet. But I’m still hoping.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images