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News Article

Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Steven Spielberg Pay Tribute to Ray Bradbury

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I'm waking up each morning in a world where Ray Bradbury no longer lives. But the pain has been somewhat mitigated by the outpouring of affection from some of the my other favorite creators, who have been speaking about Bradbury's influence on their own work. After the jump, read what such luminaries as Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and Neil Gaiman have to say about the grandmaster of American science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Steven Spielberg, Barack Obama, Stephen King, and Damon Lindelof were among the well-known figures paying tribute to Ray Bradbury, the author of such classics as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles who passed away today at 91."

"'He was my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career,' Spielberg said in a written statement. 'He lives on through his legion of fans. In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal.'

"The two men were mutual fans. Bradbury called Spielberg's 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind 'the best film of its kind ever made.' He later visited the young director 'to tell [him] what a genius he was.' Spielberg told him that seeing the 1953 sci-fi classic It Came From Outer Space, which was adapted from a Bradbury story, inspired Close Encounters.

"Stephen King, in a statement, noted Bradbury's prolific output and praised the power of his works. "The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant's footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty."
"Neil Gaiman wrote on his blog that Bradbury's death had 'knocked me for a loop,' and he promised a longer statement later. He also posted an essay he wrote that was originally printed in an edition of Bradbury's The Machineries of Joy. 'If you want to quote me, you can take anything you like from this, and add that he was kind, and gentle, and always filled with enthusiasm, and that the landscape of the world we live in would have been diminished if we had not had him in our world.
"'But the tributes were not just confined to Hollywod writers and directors.   President Obama issued a statement saying, 'His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world.  But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values.  There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing.'"
On his blog, Gaiman has posted an additional tribute to Bradbury's work that's well worth reading. As well as a recording of his recent short story, "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury".
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