— by Kiki Ide
Not so long ago, but in another world altogether, my family would spend the summers in a primitive cabin on a remote island in the vast forested wilderness of northern Minnesota. The island had no cars, and the sixty cabins of the summer community had no phones, no television, no plumbing. During the day, the kids would swim, fish, hike on the trails, and berry pick. In the evening, we would gather to play spooky outdoor games like flashlight tag or indoor games like hearts or Monopoly. But we also read short stories aloud around the fireplace, and our favorite writer to read aloud was Ray Bradbury.
His stories fired our imaginations. He spoke to our wildness and our love of the hot, intoxicating summer, of our freedom, and of the magic that lurked all around us in the woods, the lake, the frightening night. His stories painted worlds of possibility: “Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed,” “The Illustrated Man,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and many others became our companions and even the anthems of our youth. The very name “Ray Bradbury” was intoxicating.
It was with great sadness that we learned of Bradbury’s death on June 5. Bradbury lived to 91. His fine writing brought the genre of science fiction and fantasy into the realm of literature. Although he never won a Pulitzer Prize, he was awarded a Pulitzer citation five years ago “for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.”
Click here for a list of library holdings by Ray Bradbury.