“The way things happen, not the great movements of time but the ordinary things that make us what we are, the savage accidents of our births, the simple lusts that because of whimsy or a challenge to one’s pride become transformed into complex tragedies of love, the heartless operations of change, the wild sweetness of other souls that intersect the orbits of our lives, travel along the same course for a while, then angle off into oblivion, leaving no formal shape for us to consider, no easily comprehensible pattern from which we may derive enlightenment…I often wonder why it is when stories are contrived from such materials as these, the storyteller is generally persuaded to perfume the raw stink of life, to replace bloody loss with talk of noble sacrifice, to reduce the grievous to the wistfully sad.” from “Barnacle Bill The Spacer,” by Lucius Shepard.

“[A]mbiguity is a feature of most of my work and I’m used to writing in that mode. As far as the reader’s interpretation goes, I wanted to keep them guessing for a while, but I think that by story’s end it’s pretty clear what’s going on.” – Lucius Shepard

I had a dream two nights after I found out that Lucius Shepard had died. In it I owned a huge, modern house with lots of windows and ramps and angles to the roof, surrounded by a perfectly mowed lawn. I sat in a barcalounger and drank fizzy drinks from wine glasses thin as straws and laughed at those passing by on the busy road nearby, desperately trying to get somewhere in their lives. I watched mummers covered in glitter dance on a wall screen and ignored the cries of those outside. Until I looked out the window and saw that they had all stopped their cars and were crowding on my lawn, erecting a great pavilion of leaves and burlap and scalps. They all shaved themselves and painted each other purple and then massed under the great tent they had built to berate me for trying to wall myself off from the world, until the noise shattered all the windows and the house collapsed around me. That was when I woke up.
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Deadline is reporting that another film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes is in the works.

The literary classic, which combines elements of fantasy and horror, is about two 14-year-old boys who visit a traveling carnival that is more than it appears. The carnival is run by the evil “Mr. Dark”, a mysterious figure trades dreams for souls; Mr. Dark bears a tattoo for every person that has been lured to the park by the possibility of living out their secret fantasies, and who subsequently became bound to servicing the carnival.
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VIDEO: The Lost Interview with Ray Bradbury

Director Harry Hall writes in to tell us about an interview he shot between Victoria Looseleaf and author Ray Bradbury — filmed over 20 years ago in Bradbury’s home — that is available on YouTube.

Here’s the description and the video:

The Lost Interview of Ray Bradbury is a personal tribute to the great sci-fi master. Shot over 20 years ago by Director Harry Hall in the basement/office of Bradbury’s home.

The Lost Interview of Ray Bradbury was filmed for a cable access show Victoria Looseleaf’s “The Looseleaf Report”. It was never edited. In 2012 the interview has finally come to life, integrating HD stock footage to illustrate Bradbury’s timeless, inspirational reflections. His views on Theater, Driving, Puccini, Creativity, Steven Spielberg, The Hollywood Blacklist and a skewering indictment of the major TV networks give new insight into the late author Ray Bradbury.

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[GUEST POST] A Tribute to Ray Bradbury


Jason Sturgis is a freelance writer and an avid Sci-Fi and comic book fan. Ray Bradbury is his favorite writer.

Ray Bradbury May Have Passed Away, but His Stories Remain Forever

by Jason Strangis

I thought Ray Bradbury was going live forever. I really did!

So imagine my surprise when I heard that one of the all-time greats of the literary field died on June 5, 2012, at a mere 91 years of age. Well, if the incomparable Ray Bradbury wasn’t going to live forever, I thought he would at least make it to 100.

Alas, no person can escape death, not even the legends.
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The Ignition Point of Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my absolute favorite novels of all time, and I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while now. The genesis behind the book is an interesting one, because it doesn’t conform to the usual process: author sits down, writes the story. It started as one story, merged with another, got published, got expanded, had other things added onto it, and then onto bookshelves. It’s an important work, and I’ve found that its backstory makes it even more so.

Go read The Ignition Point of Ray Bradbury over on Kirkus Reviews.

At what temperature do eBooks burn? The pyro-curious can now find out when William Morrow begins releasing Ray Bradbury’s back catalog in eBook format this month.

Check out the press release for the details…
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Ray Bradbury: Story of a Writer is an illuminating TV documentary that was produced by David L. Wolper and aired in 1963.

The documentary also includes a dramatization of Bradbury’s story “Dial Double Zero”, about the emergence of an artificial intelligence.
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Worldbuilders, a non-profit organization founded by Patrick Rothfuss, is raising money for their cause by offering a 2013 Fantasy Pin-Up Calendar. All proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go to Worldbuilders in support of Heifer International.

Each month the calendar will feature a pin-up based on a different author’s works and/or characters illustrated by Lee Moyer. Participating authors include:
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In this great find by Blastr (via Reddit), science fiction author Ray Bradbury matches wits with Groucho Marx as a contestant on You Bet Your Life in 1955. Watch as Bradbury lists his “meager” credentials as the author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and The Golden Apples of the Sun.

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The Five Most Influential Books in my Life

A meme going around recently in the genre blogosphere is to name the five most influential books in your life, and how they changed your life.

Some examples recently include : Ian Sales), Justin Landon , and Aidan Moher.

I can never resist a chance to talk about books, and so here are mine:
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Here’s the description and table of contents for the upcoming Ray Bradbury tribute anthology Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury edited by Sam Weller & Mort Castle, which includes an essay by the master himself written specifically for this anthology:

What do you imagine when you hear the name . . . Bradbury?
You might see rockets to Mars. Or bizarre circuses where otherworldly acts whirl in the center ring. Perhaps you travel to a dystopian future, where books are set ablaze . . . or to an out-of-the-way sideshow, where animated illustrations crawl across human skin. Or maybe, suddenly, you’re returned to a simpler time in small-town America, where summer perfumes the air and life is almost perfect . . . almost.
Ray Bradbury—peerless storyteller, poet of the impossible, and one of America’s most beloved authors—is a literary giant whose remarkable career has spanned seven decades. Now twenty-six of today’s most diverse and celebrated authors offer new short works in honor of the master; stories of heart, intelligence, and dark wonder from a remarkable range of creative artists.
In Shadow Show, 26 acclaimed writers have come together to pay tribute to the work of the one and only Ray Bradbury with never before published stories inspired by the master. The incomparable literary artist who has given us such timeless classics as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine, is being honored by some of the most notable names in the writing world—including Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Audrey Niffenegger, Margaret Atwood, Alice Hoffman, Robert McCammon, and more—with new short fiction that thrills, frightens, moves, and dazzles in the great Bradbury tradition. Edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, with an introduction by the man, Ray Bradbury himself, Shadow Show pays well-deserved homage to one of America’s greatest, most celebrated authors.

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Next month, William Morrow is publishing a collection of Ray Bradbury tribute stories called Shadow Show.

Here’s the description:

What do you imagine when you hear the name . . . Bradbury?

You might see rockets to Mars. Or bizarre circuses where otherworldly acts whirl in the center ring. Perhaps you travel to a dystopian future, where books are set ablaze . . . or to an out-of-the-way sideshow, where animated illustrations crawl across human skin. Or maybe, suddenly, you’re returned to a simpler time in small-town America, where summer perfumes the air and life is almost perfect . . . almost.

Ray Bradbury—peerless storyteller, poet of the impossible, and one of America’s most beloved authors—is a literary giant whose remarkable career has spanned seven decades. Now twenty-six of today’s most diverse and celebrated authors offer new short works in honor of the master; stories of heart, intelligence, and dark wonder from a remarkable range of creative artists.

In Shadow Show, 26 acclaimed writers have come together to pay tribute to the work of the one and only Ray Bradbury with never before published stories inspired by the master. The incomparable literary artist who has given us such timeless classics as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine, is being honored by some of the most notable names in the writing world—including Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Audrey Niffenegger, Margaret Atwood, Alice Hoffman, Robert McCammon, and more—with new short fiction that thrills, frightens, moves, and dazzles in the great Bradbury tradition. Edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, with an introduction by the man, Ray Bradbury himself, Shadow Show pays well-deserved homage to one of America’s greatest, most celebrated authors.

Neil Gaiman, a contributor to the anthology, has posted an audio recording of him reading his story “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury, which appears in Shadow Show. It was originally released via the Kickstarter/fan-funded live album An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer

You can listen to Neil reading this beautiful story right here after the jump…

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The Bradbury Effect > The Amazon Effect


“”[R]eaders care not a whit about cover design or even good writing, and have no attachment at all to the book as object. Like addicts, they just want their fix at the lowest possible price, and Amazon is happy to be their online dealer.” – Steve Wasserman, in “The Amazon Effect.”

“You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” – Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday, after 91 years of dreaming and writing and breathing and wondering. I am sure by now that everyone reading this knows this fact. It is a fact; an incontrovertible, real thing that happened. But his words, his conjured presence in them, the lessons and pleasures many have gleaned from them, will last for a very long time. That too, I think, is incontrovertible. President Obama paid tribute to him, and a quick Google search will yield a list of many more. The outpouring of reflections and memories is everywhere. One of the last old masters has left us.
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SF Tidbits for 6/7/12 (+ Ray Bradbury Tributes Galore)


Interviews and Profiles

News

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RIP: Ray Bradbury

Sad news…

Locus Online is reporting that Ray Bradbury has passed away. He was 91 years old.

Bradbury is known for numerous works, including The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The October Country, Dandelion Wine, I Sing the Body Electric, and many more.


Carrie Cuinn is a writer, editor, book historian, small press publisher, computer geek, & raconteur. In her spare time she reads, makes things, takes other things apart, and sometimes gets a new tattoo. Learn more at carriecuinn.com.

Some of the most read, and most loved, early science fiction novels are set in places where only the hero of the tale has a chance at a enviable life. Golden Age SF especially, with its focus on adventure stories and cold-war era morality plays, often describes bleak home worlds from which the main character has to escape to survive, or dystopian worlds from which escape is impossible. Though usually presented as the highest form of man, even the heroes have lives absorbed by trying to break free from an oppressive or rigidly controlled society. If the landscape doesn’t kill you, the locals probably will.

Here are five more examples of terrible vacation spots (continued from Part 1):

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Each year when autumn arrives, I’m drawn by a kind of inner gravity to revisit the work of Ray Bradbury, and to recharge his fictional vision within me. This is always inextricably intertwined with the transcendent longing that I mentioned in my previous (just-published) column, Fantasy, Horror, and Infinite Longing.

There I talked about the sense of transcendent yearning that I’ve experienced intermittently since childhood, and that often comes to me as a companion to the autumn season. I speculated about its profound significance for both human consciousness and the fantasy and horror genres, and I talked about some of the authors — C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Colin Wilson — who have known it and focused directly on it in their work.

Here I focus on the fact that Bradbury is a master at both arousing and confirming this experience of heightened inner intensity. My first readings of The October Country, The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes as an early adolescent left a permanent mark on me, both intellectually and emotionally. More than just the sum of their parts, his books and stories conveyed to me then, and convey to me now, an entire vision of the world in which darkness and light both intensify to new heights and depths of vividness, and all the daily details of life assume a kind of mythic numinosity. Which is to say that his work exemplified then, and still exemplifies now, what I take to be the deep raison d’être of fantasy and horror.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Ray Bradbury’s Chrysalis

REVIEW SUMMARY: An interesting idea for a film, but it suffers from underdeveloped characterizations and pacing issues.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In an ecologically ravaged near-future, a scientist named Smith undergoes a mysterious transformation.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Interesting premise; cool claustrophobic atmosphere.

CONS: The overall pace is slow; weak characterizations.

BOTTOM LINE: While I applaud the production of a film based on a science fiction short story, I can’t help wishing that this one was just a bit more polished.

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Sunday Cinema: Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

The film, based on Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, begins about 5-and-a-half minutes into the video…

[via Divers and Sundry]

SF Tidbits for 10/9/09

TIP: Follow SF Signal on Twitter and Facebook for additional tidbits not posted here!
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