Ray Bradbury, our Poet Laureate of space quest, died on June 6. He was 91 years old. On June 5, here in Hawaii we had a ringside seat to the Transit of Venus across the sun. I like to think that little dot I saw thru the telescope, dallying across the face of the sun, was Bradbury's soul. While his body slowly declined here on earth, his higher being was already voyaging into the galaxy.
He was a genius, a poet, a lightning-rod for writers, scientists, anyone who believed
we humans were put here on earth to be witnesses and dreamers. That it was in our DNA to strive for the next dimension, the next star. He believed that the universe required this of us. "The Stars are Our Destiny," he said. And he was the beacon who guided us there.
When the Apollo astronauts were preparing for the first landing on the moon, Ray Bradbury was the man they asked to meet. And when they landed on the moon, Ray Bradbury was the one man Walter Kronkite asked to interview. He consented to the interview, and across the air waves and the ethers, the world listened as Bradbury wept. His dreams, his forecasts, had come true.
Novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, poet, he gave us works of genius: The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and hundreds of stories that changed our way of thinking about man's future in this galaxy, this universe. He predicted personal computers, Banking ATMs, earbuds, Bluetooth headsets, and most importantly, the concept of Artificial Intelligence.
He reshaped our minds, our culture, and expanded our world. He was the Godfather of science-fiction, the wizard who inspired Speilberg, Star Wars and every book, movie or comic book that followed.
"What are we doing on earth?" he asked. "We are here to be the audience to the magnificent. We are the witnesses to the miracle of the universe. We were put here by creation, by God, by the cosmos, whatever name you choose. But we are here. And, we too, are a miracle."
He said it was our duty to question, and to dream. To make the impossible, possible. Make each moment a Eureka moment. It was our job to celebrate. And to create.
Thank you, Mr. Bradbury. Fly Safe, O Genius...