Ray Bradbury
Credit: Evening Standard/Getty Images

The loss of Ray Bradbury, who passed away on Monday at the age of 91, leaves an enormous void in the world of science fiction. His works, which included Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, influenced generations of readers who became fans who became epic storytellers themselves. Epic storytellers — like Steven Spielberg. The director of films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T., honored the author with a statement on Wednesday: “He was my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career. He lives on through his legion of fans. In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal.”

Spielberg and Bradbury were kindred spirits who saw hope in the future and deep space. Back in 2003, Bradbury told the Newark Star Ledger that, “Close Encounters is the best film of its kind ever made. It takes too long, but the transfiguration at the end, with the splendid arrival of the mother ship — that makes up for everything. I was so amazed and changed when I saw it that I went over to the studio to tell Spielberg what a genius he was. And he said, ‘You know, I never would have done this film if I hadn’t seen [your] It Came From Outer Space when I was a kid.”

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