When I first heard of the passing of Ray Bradbury, I stopped and reflected for a moment on his works and what they meant to me. Of all of his writings, my favorite was The Martian Chronicles. There was an eerie beauty to this series of stories. It was a world of vast silences and ancient wonders. It featured both the mundane and the sublime in equal portions that drew me back into it again and again. Ray Bradbury’s version of Mars was a place that I wanted to visit again and again.
When I got into role playing games back in 1977, one of the first games I bought was the original Traveller from Game Designers Workshop. Those three little black books provided countless hours of entertainment for my friends and I. One of the worlds that I created was called Barsoom and it’s starport was Port Bradbury. It was my version of Mars and a small tribute to two writers, Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs, who had helped chart the landscape of my dreams.
In 1989, Game Designers Workshop, brought out what I regard as the best Victorian Science Fiction RPG ever, Space 1889. This was in many respects the Mars of Ray Bradbury. A strange, exotic world of ancient ruins and even more ancient silence. But more than that, it had Martians and their civilizations. This was and still is a heady mix of Rudyard Kipling meets HG Wells but with a healthy underpinning of Ray Bradbury and his magic thrown into the mix.
Thank you, Ray Bradbury for opening that wonderful, magical door for the rest of us to step through.