A master of science fiction whose lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own postwar America.
His most famous novel is “Fahrenheit 451,” published in 1953. Named for the temperature at which paper ignites, the novel depicts a near-future society in which firemen don’t extinguish fires but instead burn books, and where the complacent populace, numbed by nonstop television and advertising, seems all too eager to embrace enforced ignorance.
By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. His name would appear near the top of any list of major science-fiction writers of the 20th century, beside those of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.
In Mr. Bradbury’s lifetime more than eight million copies of his books were sold in 36 languages. They included the short-story collections “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man” and “The Golden Apples of the Sun,” and the novels “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”
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