Ray Bradbury died last Tuesday. Bradbury wrote science fiction, but he was always less about science than he was about fiction. Although he wrote many stories set in the technologically advanced future, his themes transcended the futurism and technological glamour that characterized the work of science fiction writers like Arthur C. Clarke. In fact, some of his greatest writings were not futuristic at all. A story like Something Wicked This Way Comes didn't need to be futuristic to be a great novel.
Of the many things to like about Bradbury was his attitude toward learning. As the New York Times obituary recounts, Bradbury attributed his success as a writer to never having gone to college: "Instead, he read everything he could get his hands on: Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway . He paid homage to them in 1971 in the essay 'How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.'"