Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1920. He was a direct descendent of Mary Bradbury, who was sentenced to death as a witch in the 1692 Salem Trials. Fortunately, the sentence was not carried out. In many of Bradbury’s books, Waukegan appears as a “green village,” a sanctuary of warmth and security that serves as the backdrop for the appearance of ominous forces. Bradbury’s family moved from one place to another until finally settled down in Los Angeles when Ray was 13 years old. At this point, the young Bradbury was already writing short stories. The economic depression did not spare the family and Bradbury was forced to write his stories on used paper wrappings. His family found a house near MGM’s main theater, and the enthusiastic teenager, who apparently never stepped off his skates, snuck into the movies and waited for hours to see the stars coming out after premieres. His first collection of short stories was published in 1947, but the novels he published during the 50s (most prominent of which are The Martian Chronicles and the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451) are the works that have been responsible for his iconic stature. He later published 27 novels and about 600 short stories. He was also involved in the production of dozens of films, among them, writing the script for John Huston’s Moby Dick, a project which he later claimed had “shortened his life.” Bradbury died in 2012, at the age of 91.