As a kid, science fiction was the most exciting genre to me.
Perhaps this was because it writ ideas large.
Sure character, plot and authenticity were often there, but they always seemed to play second fiddle to the BIG idea. And I loved that. It was the purest form of imagination that to my mind, seemed an inevitable future just around the corner.
Ray Bradbury is a true science fiction writer, not a storyteller who chooses to simply put drama in a fantastical setting. He was a writer who imagined, and imagined boldly.
I came to his work later in life as it was way too esoteric for a kid obsessed with Dr Who and the Six Million Dollar Man. Nonetheless, when I discovered it as an early teenager, I became obsessed by his short stories that seemed so easy to digest, one a night, before bed. And the dreams that followed…
And so here for your inspiration are his top fifteen quotes.
‘I don’t control my writing – it controls me.’
‘Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.’
‘Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.’
‘If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.’
‘I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.’
‘You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do – and they don’t. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don’t want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who’s the bore of all time.’
‘Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.’
‘You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.’
‘Any experience that touches you, in any particular way, is good. It can be a horrible experience.’
‘I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.’
‘All of us, no matter how we look born into this world, feel something like the Hunchback. It doesn’t matter if you have a beautiful face or not.’
‘The answer I found is you stay away from the people who make fun of you, and you join these ad hoc groups who understand your craziness.’
‘Collecting facts is important. Knowledge is important. But if you don’t have an imagination to use the knowledge, civilization is nowhere.’
‘Love is easy, and I love writing. You can’t resist love. You get an idea, someone says something, and you’re in love.’
‘You fail only if you stop writing.’
Onwards and upwards!