There’s no arguing that science fiction author and pioneer Ray Bradbury not only revolutionized the genre, but helped move it forward from pulp entertainment to legitimate art. So when we hear about Ray Bradbury shower praise on a fellow science fiction author, it’s worth paying attention.
In a recent post on BoingBoing, a newly discovered letter of appreciation from Ray Bradbury to author Robert A. Heinlein is touching, beautiful, and well written. It’s not often that we see a science fiction icon like Ray Bradbury devote so much love to someone who influenced him. The letter was part of The Houston Press’ coverage of Comicpalooza 2011. Read the transcribed letter below:
YOUR INFLUENCE ON US ALL, FROM 1939 ON, CANNOT BE MEASURED. I CAN ONLY SAY I REMEMBER, WARMLY, YOUR MANY KINDNESSES TO ME WHEN I WAS 19–20–21 YEARS OLD. THAT YOUNG MAN BASKED IN YOUR LIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR THE HELP YOU OFFERED WHEN I WAS SO POOR & NEEDFUL! YOURS IN THAT MEMORY — RAY BRADBURY
AUG – 1976
Along with authors Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein is one of the “Big Three” of science fiction. Heinlein’s most popular work is his 1959 novel Starship Troopers, which director Paul Verhoeven adapted into a movie in 1997. Heinlein was later named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Association in 1974.
Ray Bradbury might have transitioned better into American pop culture than Heinlein, but the latter’s influence on science fiction as a genre cannot be measured, so it’s good to see Ray Bradbury giving credit where credit is due. Check out the actual letter of appreciation below: