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Author Ray Bradbury turns 86

‘Martin Chronicles’ scribe still writes every day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Author Ray Bradbury turned 86 on Tuesday and still has his eye on the stars — both celestial and earthbound.

The author of such science fiction and fantasy classics as “The Martian Chronicles” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes” said he believes that humans will return to the moon, then go to Mars and eventually to other worlds.

“Our future is wonderful,” he told Patt Morrison in an interview on KPCC, a Pasadena-based public radio station.

Bradbury also said he is working on a screenplay for a new movie version of “Chronicles” that he hopes will start shooting within two years. A 1980 TV miniseries version starred the late Rock Hudson.

Bradbury also said he hopes shooting will start within 18 months on a new version of “Fahrenheit 451,” which was optioned years ago by Mel Gibson. Bradbury’s novel about a futuristic fireman whose job is to burn books was made into a 1966 film directed by Francois Truffaut.

Bradbury sold his first story at 21. He earned $15.

“All of a sudden, I was rich,” he said.

He said he has written “hours every single day for the last 70 years. So that’s how I’m spending my 86th birthday. You just keep doing it because it’s so great.”

Bradbury, born Aug. 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Ill., is a longtime Los Angeles resident. Bradbury, who doesn’t drive, continued his long-standing griping about local traffic and called on the mayor to push mass transit.

“I want to talk to him about getting rid of our freeways, because they’re no good. We have to have monorail systems,” Bradbury said, adding that he’d be happy to have a transit station named after him.