In the back of my copy of Fahrenheit 451 there is a chapter called Coda, in which Ray Bradbury gives would-be censors a piece of his mind. It includes the following:
“In sum, do not insult me with the beheadings, finger-choppings or the lung-deflations you plan for my works. I need my head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or maybe make a fist, my lungs to shout or whisper with. I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non book.
All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It’s my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I rune the bases. At sunset I’ve won or lost.
At sunrise I’m out again, giving it the old try.”
To you Ray, I just want to say the following:
Thank you for your stories. It would seem that alas the sun has set. But know this: you won. Oh did you ever win.
And you know what else Ray? Tomorrow, at sunrise, we’ll be out there, writing our hearts out, creating fantasy and space opera and dangerous stuff. ‘Cause you paved the way. You showed us what we can do.
So thanks again Ray. We’ll give it our best.