My high school English teacher offered as quotes from several books (I can’t remember why now) and it was amazing.
The sun burnt every day. It burnt Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt things with the firemen and the sun burnt Time, that meant that everything burnt!
I asked the teacher after class what book it was from and she said Fahrenheit 451. I’d seen it in the library, but truthfully, from the back cover blurb, it hadn’t seemed very exciting.
Also, it was old. Back then I felt old books were boring and oddly written. (I still feel this way sometimes. But not usually.) I didn’t know anything about Ray Bradbury and I couldn’t imagine he was still alive.
That quote? It made me want to go and get it. The idea of everything burning entranced me.
I didn’t get Fahrenheit 451 than. Or that year. It was years before I actually got Fahrenheit 451. But it stayed in my mind. It changed my ideas about what older books are like.
Ray Bradbury didn’t introduce me to science fiction, like he did for a lot of people. His work didn’t make me to love science fiction. (I already loved it by the time I discovered him.)
But his stuff features rather prominently in the SF I do love. I was thrilled when I discovered he was still alive (sometime after high school). It depresses me that he didn’t stay that way.
RiP Ray Bradbury!