If you're familiar with my work—and I suspect you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't—then you probably know that, of all the gods in my literary pantheon, no one has inspired me more than Ray Bradbury. As I've said here before, people call Bradbury a science-fiction writer, a fantasist, but I don’t think either label applies. He’s a preacher, a rhapsodist, an interfaith—no, interdimensional—minister. I’ve rarely encountered anyone who more eloquently encapsulates the sheer sacred joy of life. When I read a Bradbury story, I not only want to race to the computer and create literary wonders of my own—the greatest gift a fellow writer can give you—I want to race out the door and up the street with my arms wide, embracing the entire universe.
Today is Ray B's 91st birthday and we're all blessed that this great writer, this great man, is still with us. (And apparently planning a movie adaptation of his glorious novel Dandelion Wine.) So join me in wishing Mr. Bradbury a heartfelt happy birthday: may he be inspiring us all for many years to come.