My condolences to Ray's family, and to all his many thousands of friends.
I was in the same room as Ray on no more than four occasions, two of them public events and two of them private meetings. This means I hardly knew the man at all, and yet since I first read "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" at the age of twelve I felt that I knew him well.
The last decade has seen a small explosion of published works by or about him, helping to keep him in the public eye, and helping to reveal and establish the true nature and extent of his extraordinary authorship. First published in the 1930s, this man wrote for almost every conceivable medium: short stories, novels, essays, poetry, plays, screenplays, radio scripts, multi-media exbihitions. Some of these, by their nature, are somewhat transitory. Others, however, have had an amazing lifespan. Stories he wrote in the 1940s are still being anthologised today. Novels he published in the 1950s are still being optioned for movies. He helped define the genres of science fiction, fantasy and modern horror - and he helped break down the barriers that genres create, and allow other authors to follow him to the freedom of mainstream publishing.
Ray may have passed away, but through his work he will surely Live Forever.
|Me and Ray, Eaton conference, California 2008. Photo by John Sasser.|