Neil Gaiman’s article in Times Online, “Ray Bradbury made me want to write”, reveals his deep admiration and affection for the grandmaster:
I can imagine all sorts of worlds and places, but I cannot imagine one without Ray Bradbury. Not Bradbury the man (I have met him. Each time I have spent any time with him I have been left the happier for it), but Bradbury the builder of dreams. The man who took an idea of the American Midwest and made it magical and tangible, who took his own childhood and all the people and things in it and used it to shape the world. The man who gave us a future to fear, one without stories, without books. The man who invented Hallowe’en in its modern incarnation.
Bradbury is also the source for several of Gaiman’s heartfelt yearnings, one of them yet to be fulfilled:
It was after reading this story that I resolved that I would one day read Poe, become a writer, find a Scary House, and own a robotic orang-utan that would do my bidding. I have been fortunate in achieving at least three of these goals.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the link.]