The Illustrated Man.
The Martian Chronicles.
The October Country.
Whether it be complete novels or short stories, author Ray Bradbury was one of the masters. I remember first reading the stories found in The October Country, and feeling shivers down my spine as I read through "The Skeleton" and "The Small Assassin". I remember the thrill of wonder felt by Douglas Spaulding in Dandelion Wine, the agony of rebellion in Fahrenheit 451, and the mixed feelings of horror and wonder in The Martian Chronicles.
I marveled at the way Bradbury had with words; he would weave them together into a scintillating pattern of prose and poetry, and, in doing so, creating word pictures of great depth and imagery.
In his many stories, Bradbury taught me the value of wonder, to be able to look at things as if they were brand new, and, thus, be seen in a different light. His insightful book, Zen in the Art of Writing, has helped me become a better writer, as well.
It saddened me to hear of his death last Wednesday, at the age of 91, but I also think that his was a life that was fully lived.
With Bradbury's passing last Wednesday, the world is a little poorer and a little brighter.
Requiem, Ray Bradbury.