The World’s first self-help book was written in the Victorian
Ray Bradbury is one of the most iconic science fiction writers of all time, giving the world classics like Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. The genre-defining writer had quite a few quirks that made him even more fascinating. Read on for the scoop about Bradbury.
1. What originally inspired Bradbury to become a writer was the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Only after reading them did he realize he wanted to write.
2. There’s an asteroid and a comet crater both named after Bradbury.
3. The novel Something Wicked This Way Comes was supposedly inspired by Bradbury’s experience at a traveling carnival. He touched an electrified sword, making his hair stand on end and scaring him enough that he decided he wanted to “live forever” through writing.
4. When he was only 14, Bradbury landed his first writing job for a radio show. He earned the job by showing up week after week in the live audience and handing off his own written sketches to creator George Burns, who eventually used one in the program.
5. It took Bradbury until he was 22 years old before he asked out a girl for the first time. Her name was Maggie, and it turned out that the wait paid off because they ended up getting married. He never dated another woman.
6. One of the oddest things about Bradbury is that he never got his driver’s license. He had a horrible aversion to cars, holding over from seeing a horrific car accident when he was 16. He said that cars were the most dangerous weapon in society.
7. Although much of his writing circulated around the future, Bradbury absolutely hated computers and the internet. He thought the internet was “old-fashioned” saying “They type a question to you. You type an answer back. That’s thirty years ago. Why not do it on the telephone, which is immediate? Why not do it on TV, which is immediate? Why are they so excited with something that is so backward?”
8. He wrote Fahrenheit 451 in just 9 days while in the basement of the UCLA library, despite the fact that he never attended college.
9. Walt Disney was a close friend of Bradbury’s and when they created the ride Spaceship Earth at Epcot, Bradbury wrote the story that the ride was designed around.
10. At one point, Bradbury said that he wanted to have his ashes put in a Campbell’s Tomato Soup can and planted on Mars where his fans could visit. He even wanted a sign to say “place dandelions here” because he thought so many people loved his book Dandelion Wine.
11. Although he’s often credited with changing the face of science fiction, Bradbury thought that the only sci-fi book he ever wrote was Fahrenheit 451. He said the rest of his work was fantasy because it described the unreal.
12. It was his policy to write at least 1000 words per day every day.
13. In addition to his dislike of computers, Bradbury also hated e-books and for quite some time refused to allow Fahrenheit 451 to be published digitally.
14. The short story that eventually became Fahrenheit 451 was first published in Playboy.