Sad news. America's greatest speculative prose writer since Edgar Poe, the genius of uncanny and strange stories, short and long, Ray Bradbury, has died, at the age of 91, just as the rare transit of Venus began. Any reader of Playboy knows his stories, which added lustre to those steamy pages. The Martian Chronicles was much-watch TV in my childhood. Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Illustrated Man classics. And then, of course, there is Fahrenheit 451. If Bradbury never quite became as big as Orwell or Burgess, he is certainly the equal or master of any science fiction/ horror writer of the last century, including Asimov, Clarke, Herbert, King and Heinlein. Perhaps his books were turned into weird, or schlocky screenworks. Perhaps he wrote too much. I never minded.