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Ray Bradbury scores another honor...

November 12, 2007 |  6:32 pm

He has an asteroid named for him, a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, an Emmy and lifetime achievement awards in science fiction and fantasy. A crater on the moon has been named after his novel "Dandelion Wine." Now, Ray Bradbury, once christened "the Poet of the Pulps" by Time magazine, is a commandeur of France's Order of Arts and Letters.

The 87-year-old literary lion jumped the lesser categories of chevalier and officier in this most prestigious of French prizes "in recognition for his significant contribution to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world," the French government announced Monday.

Bradbury — who has written more than 60 books and 600 short stories, including "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles," "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and, most recently, two novellas under the title "Now and Forever" — already got the official U.S. literary honor in 2004, a medal from the National Endowment for the Arts. Earlier this year, the Pulitzer Prize board issued a special citation for the writer's "distinguished, prolific, and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy."

A longtime Southern California resident who eschews automobiles and is an outspoken advocation of building a monorail system in Los Angeles, Bradbury won't have to travel far from his Cheviot Hills home for his investiture. Pierre Vimont, France's ambassador to the United States, will present the medal Dec. 17 at the Résidence de France in Beverly Hills.

Bradbury, who says he has written every day since the age of 13, joins the ranks of fellow non-French commandeurs Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Nadine Gordimer and Patti Smith.

— Kristina Lindgren

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