I know I have said before of other authors that they had an impact on my life, but Ray Bradbury was probably the start of my inevitably (and enjoyable) journey to nerddom. I read the Martian Chronicles in grade school and I can say they opened my eyes to the possibility of something other than this drab, mundane, and more or less meaningless world we humans infest.
The idea of being able to go to another world and colonize it captured my imagination like nothing else. Of course, Bradbury was a genius when it came to creating poetic, otherworldly landscapes with words, so it was easy to see what he saw.
Even more importantly, however, is the fact that in addition to being a welcome escape in my childhood he inspired a generation of authors who took me to other worlds on a daily basis. Ask any author of that generation worth his or her salt who their early inspirations were and most of them will list Bradbury. He was truly a pioneering and wonderous author. I will truly miss him.
I didn’t really have any good Martian images so I just grabbed this Mars Attacks! shirt from the Movie T Shirt collection. I’m pretty sure this movie would not have come to be had Bradbury not been around.