I can admit it now: I was a pretty weird kid.

By the time I was twelve, I had already read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, along with George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. My mom thought that I would like them—she had read them while studying at Kent State University just a few years after the National Guard had killed four students.

And My dad had taken me and my two sisters to see The Planet of the Apes series and Soylent Green movies. Not exactly Disney.

So I knew about Ray Bradbury. I had seen The Illustrated Man–and, no, I don’t mean the book. I mean the movie. Starring Rod Steiger.

When I heard that he died today, it took me back to a rainy Sunday, stretched across the family room shag carpet in front of the TV. Hearing, again, Rod Steiger’s meandering, lisping tone as he weaved an eery tale from each of the lurid tattoos penned into his skin.

Bradbury’s binding of the technological, fantastical and psychological cast a spell that lured me into a world that I have visited again through the mirrors of Orson Scott Card and Stephen King’s writings.

Thank you, Raymond Bradbury, for introducing me to your new worlds. May we meet again in the future.