I’d forgotten how much I love Ray Bradbury. He died last year at age 91, and left behind a treasure trove of novels and short stories. Bradbury was a “genre” writer and helped bring sci-fi and fantasy into the mainstream. I imagine his most famous work is Fahrenheit 451, which envisions a particularly chilling world where the printed page is forbidden. He started publishing in 1941, so by the time I discovered him in the late 60’s, there was already a rich backlist to discover, starting with The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Harlan Ellison… crazy reading for a hot-pants-wearing blonde with braces in 1972.
Now comes a new anthology called Shadow Show, “all-new stories in celebration of Ray Bradbury.” It’s edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle (love Mort!) and features stories by such literary luminaries as Margaret Atwood, David Morell, Joe Meno, Audrey Niffenegger, Julia Keller, Dave Eggers, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Dan Chaon, Joe Hill – even Harlan Ellison. And many more. Each story is followed by a brief note from the author, explaining the inspiration. Here’s what I liked about the book:
- The stories – totally channeled the point of view and voice of Ray Bradbury. Made me want to go back and read Bradbury.
- The author notes – the obvious affection the authors have for Bradbury’s works. Made me want to go back and read Bradbury.
The takeaway: Read this book. Then go back and read Bradbury one more time. I plan to start with Bradbury Stories: 100 of his Most Celebrated Tales. (It’s in my Kindle Cloud Reader … right…. now.)