“Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers.” When I first read this quote, I found it both accurate and frustrating, a condemnation of shaggy-dog stories yet an invitation to tell them without apology. How fantastically Bradbury.
Ray was a fanboy before the term existed. He cited H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as inspirations for his own bravura storytelling, which transcended the science-fiction and fantasy genre by infusing it with a unique secret ingredient: humanity. From the vast deserts of Mars (The Martian Chronicles) to a dystopia committed to eradicating literature (Fahrenheit 451), Ray’s stories were about creating not incredible worlds but credible ones. He populated them with characters we cared about — and often, we realized we were looking at a slightly distorted reflection of ourselves. All this and a sense of humor too. Often confused for his friend Gene Roddenberry, Ray gave up on correcting people who credited him with Star Trek and simply responded, “Oh, I’m so glad that you like the show. I wrote it for you.”
Lindelof is a screenwriter and producer
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