ON THIS DAY, 14 July, 2011, Mr. Ray Bradbury is formally inducted into my little honorary group, the Dreamland Literary and Cinematic Society, in recognition of his many decades of unique and influential artistic contributions.
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Sir, your writing helped change my life. It's as simple and marvelous as that. It seized my attention as a young person, ignited my imagination, and transported me again and again. Your work detonated in my mind, set off fireworks of love and instrospection, and inspired me to go down the path of the wordsmith, and it also set a standard of crazy brilliance I knew I could never hope to meet.
It was my honor to express to you the short version of these long-held sentiments in person at the Planetfest conference in Pasadena, California back in 1981, and I will always remember your absolute graciousness as I tried to explain in fifty words or less what you meant to me-- and still do. I read somewhere that you remember everything in your life-- everything! How marvelous! (I like to think you remember the young blonde who broke free of her introverted nature, had a kind of out-of-body experience and slipped up to you that afternoon and quietly interrupted your pre-talk thoughts while Diane Ackerman-- I thought of her as your warmup act-- was reciting her poetry).
Your books and stories are unique in this world, a voice apart. They would be more than enough to earn the heartfelt gratitude of people everywhere, but your ongoing outspoken support of manned space exploration has always been heroic and deeply appreciated. I personally understood this with deep certainty that hot July night when we walked on the moon, and I listened with tears filling my eyes while you gave us the words and perspective we needed during that miracle.
Countless people truly love your rich, poetic excesses. We also love your fist-pounding passion, your ire and indignation, your unrestrained joy. It's impossible not to love the person behind the work.
Thank you, thank you forever.
brenda cox giguere