Last week would have been Ray Bradbury’s 99th birthday. Amongst the tributes posted to remember him by, the Waukegan Public Library in Waukegan, Illinois unveiled its own notable tribute: a massive statue featuring Bradbury riding atop a silver rocket ship.
The statue has been in the works for a number of years now: the Ray Bradbury Statue Committee launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the project. The library finally installed the statue — named Fantastical Traveler—on Thursday. It was inspired by Bradbury’s poem, “If Only We Had Taller Been“:
Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth
between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Sculptor Zachary Oxman created the statue, saying that it was designed to honor “a literary icon and a beloved Waukeganite who gifted us his ever expanding universe of imagination, intellect and optimism for our future.”
Bradbury, who died in 2012, is best known for works such as The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and of course, Fahrenheit 451. The statue feels like a wonderfully whimsical way to remember him by—and should be a good destination for fans of his works.