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A Tribute to Ray Bradbury

by Vince Darcangelo

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laze on, ye dark carnivals, with the steam-wrought thunder of a midnight train! Gather ye lunatics, barkers and graveyard melancholics along the autumn midway! For Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come for its maker. And sadly, under the Big Tent of terrestrial existence, the Time Carousel spins only one direction. There will be no unwinding of the years. No flip-page fountain of youth. No restoring the burnt ashes to books.

On Tuesday, June 5, Ray Bradbury—master of the grimly fantastic—died at the age of 91. He left behind hundreds of stories, novels, screenplays, teleplays and nonfiction works, spanning 1947’s Dark Carnival to last month’s essay, “Take Me Home,” in The New Yorker.

Bradbury enthralled a long-ago generation with the possibilities of space travel and the terror of a foreseen dystopia. The man’s got a Hollywood Star, an Emmy, a Pulitzer special citation and has had a moon crater and a freaking asteroid named in honor of his work.

So here’s to one of the true giants of American literature: A bittersweet slug of dandelion wine. Drink hearty, my friends…

Read the full essay in PDF format.

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