Ray Bradbury died yesterday, June 5th. A science fiction and short story extraordinaire, he told fascinating and frightening tales of an all-too-plausible future.
Bradbury is well known for his novel Fahrenheit 451, as well as for several collections of short stories, including The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and R is for Rocket. His short stories contain breathtaking imagery. Some of them are highly emotional; others are mind-blowing.
For me, his most powerful (and entertaining) work was a short story entitled The Fog Horn. It speaks of companionship, of solitude, and of loneliness. The story begins:
"Out there in the cold water, far from land, we waited every night for the coming of the fog, and it came, and we oiled the brass machinery and lit the fog light up in the stone tower. Feeling like two birds in the grey sky, McDunn and I sent the light touching out, red, then white, then red again, to eye the lonely ships. And if they did not see our light, then there was always our Voice, the great deep cry of our Fog Horn shuddering through the rags of mist to startle the gulls away like decks of scattered cards and make the waves turn high and foam."
His writing is mesmerizing. His imagination was insane.