Decades before they became a reality, Ray Bradbury anticipated iPods, interactive TV, electronic surveillance and live, sensational media events -- including televised police pursuits -- and not necessarily as good things.
Bradbury, who was known as a science fiction writer but said most of his work should be considered fantasy, was best known for "Fahrenheit 451," about a futuristic book-burning world, which continues to be taught at high schools and universities around the country. He died last night in California at the age of 91.
His writings ranged from horror and mystery to humor. He wrote the script for the 1956 film version of "Moby Dick" and also wrote for "The Twilight Zone" and other TV programs.
Steven Spielberg says Bradbury was his "muse" for most of Spielberg's science-fiction work. Writer Tom Wolfe says Bradbury was his favorite science fiction author because "what he did was rooted in reality."
Until near the end of his life, Bradbury resisted one of the innovations he helped anticipate -- electronic books. He said they were like burnt metal, and he urged readers to stick to the old-fashioned pleasures of ink and paper. But late last year, he gave in and allowed his most famous novel, "Fahrenheit 451," to come out in digital form. In return, the publisher agreed to make the e-book available to libraries.