The 40 Most Inspiring Ray Bradbury Quotes

Mr. Ray Bradbury was born August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, and he passed away in June of 2012 in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 91. Ray Bradbury was an incredibly prolific American author and screenwriter. He wrote for many genres, including; science fiction, horror fiction, and mystery fiction.

Ray had many notable works including: The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Mr. Bradbury also won many awards; Inkpot Award (1974), Daytime Emmy Award (1994), and National Medal of Arts (2004).

During the Great Depression (1931), Ray began writing his own stories at 11 years old. Ray had his first story, Hollerbochen’s Dilemma, published in 1938. Ray and his family settled in Los Angeles in 1934; he was 14 years old. He attended Los Angeles High School and was very active in drama. Ray, at the age of 14, wrote a joke for George Burns. Burns paid Ray for the joke and used it on his radio show, Burns and Allen.

If you want to find Ray Bradbury’s books you can find them here.

We have scoured the internet and compiled a collection of Ray Bradbury quotes to enjoy and take inspiration from, especially if you are a writer.

Ray Bradbury’s Best Quotes

1. “Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”

2. “It was a pleasure to burn.”

3. “The good writer’s touch life often. The mediocre one’s run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”

4. “Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in 10 seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

5. “We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.”

6. “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a future. Just get people to stop reading them.”

7. “Life is trying things to see if they work.”

8. “Half the fun of the trace is the esthetic of lostness.”

9. “Living at risk is jumping off a cliff and building our wings on the way down.”

10. “You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”

11. “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

12. “I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.”

13. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

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14. “I’m not a serious person, and I don’t like serious people.”

15. “If you don’t like what you’re doing, then don’t do it.”

16. “Touch a scientist, and you touch a child.”

17. “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

18. “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”

19. “Without libraries, what have we? We have no past and no future.”

20. “Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world, you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.”

21. “I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.”

22. “Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The keyword is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”

23. “Journalism keeps you planted in the earth.”

24. “It’s not going to do any good to land on Mars if we’re stupid.”

25. “The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to my typewriter because some new idea has hit me.”

26. “Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.”

27. “The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance – the idea that anything is possible.”

28. “Every morning, I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”

29. “A book has got smell. A new book smells great. An old book smells even better. An old book smells like ancient Egypt.”

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30. “My religion encompasses all religions. I believe in God. I believe in the universe. I believe you are God; I believe I am God; I believe the earth is God, and the universe is God. We’re all God.”

31. “Video games are a waste of time for men with nothing else to do. Real brains don’t do that.”

32. “We’ve gotta become Martians. I’m a Martian – I tell you to become Martians. And we’ve gotta go to Mars and civilize Mars and build a whole civilization on Mars and then move out, 300 years from now, into the universe. And when we do that, we have a chance of living forever.”

33. “You fail only if you stop writing.”

34. “Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going, and the next thing I know, I’m borrowing energy from the ideas themselves.”

35. “I’m not in control of muse; my muse does all the work.”

36. “Books are alive, you see. They’re not dead; they’re alive.”

37. “If you dream the proper dream and share the myths with people, they will want to grow up to be like you.”

38. “I don’t have a computer. A computer is a typewriter. I already have a typewriter.”

39. “Collecting facts is important. Knowledge is important. But if you don’t have the imagination to use the knowledge, civilization is nowhere.”

40. “If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder.”

41. “I think the reason my stories have been so successful is that I have a strong sense of metaphor.”

42. “My stories run up and bite me on the leg – I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.”

43. “My business is to prevent the future.”

44. “We’ve gotta reinvest in space travel. We should’ve never left the moon.”

45. “Everything is my demon muse. I have a muse which whispers in my ear and says, “Do this, do that,” but it is my demon who provokes me.”

46. ‘I’m never going to go to Mars, but I’ve helped inspire, thank goodness, the people who built the rockets and sent our photographic equipment off to Mars.”

47. “I have total recall. I remember being born. I remember being in the womb. I remember being inside. Coming out was great.”

48. “If God treats you well by teaching you a disastrous lesson, you ever forget it.”

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49. “Love is easy, and I love writing. You can’t resist love. You get an idea, someone says something, and you’re in love.”

50. “You can write a short story in two hours. Two hours a day, you have a novel in a year.”

Video – Ray Bradbury Documentary

This is an excellent short biography of Ray’s life and his impact on the world. Definitely worth a watch if you have read this far!


In the mid-1940s, Bradbury’s stories started to appear in major magazines such as The American Mercury, Harper’s, and McCall’s. He was unusual in publishing both in pulp magazines such as Planet Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories and “slicks” (so-called because of their high-quality paper) such as The New Yorker and Collier’s without leaving behind the genres he loved.

The Martian Chronicles (1950), a series of short stories, depicts Earth’s colonization of Mars, which leads to the extinction of an idyllic Martian civilization. However, in the face of an oncoming nuclear war, many of the settlers return to Earth, and after Earth’s destruction, a few surviving humans return to Mars to become the new Martians.

Ray’s short-story collection The Illustrated Man (1951) included one of his most famous stories, “The Veldt,” in which a mother and father are concerned about the effect their house’s simulation of lions on the African veldt is having on their children.

Ray Bradbury is a man to look up to if you want to be an author or a screenwriter. He had a wonderful insight into all things science fiction. Ray had a great imagination and knew how to put his thoughts, feelings, and ideas into a perfect story. If I could be half the author that he was, I would be proud of myself.

Image Credit: photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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