Saturday, October 17, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 13

If it's Saturday (and it is), it must be time for another episode of my podcast Bradbury 100.

We're up to episode 13, if you can believe it!

This week, a discussion of storytelling and "the oral tradition", which naturally leads me to talk about Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451.

All of which is preamble for my interview with Megan Wells, a professional storyteller. Now, you may have heard me refer to Ray Bradbury as a storyteller, but that's a different thing. Megan stands (or sometimes sits) before an audience and will literally tell them a story. Not read, tell.

In the interview, Megan explains the differences, from the point of view of both the performer and the audience.


Show Notes

Megan Wells' website has full details of her repertoire.

You can also follow Megan on her Megan Wells Tells Facebook page.

I wrote a book chapter about Fahrenheit 451 being adapted to different media. It includes a bit more discussion of David Calcutt's radio play.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 12

This week on my podcast Bradbury 100 we take another look at Bradbury on radio - but American radio this time.

Bradbury's radio credits date back to 1946, when Mollé Mystery Theatre dramatised his story "Killer, Come Back To Me". During the 1940s and 1950s Bradbury submitted many stories to radio networks, just as he submitted stories to magazines. Occasionally, a story would sell.

But as Bradbury became better known, with appearances in "slick" magazines and in books, so his stories became sought-after by radio producers. His short stories in particular became regular fare on shows like Suspense and X Minus One.

In the podcast, I talk about various production companies which continued both the tradition of American radio drama and the tradition of adapting Bradbury. My guest is the multi-talented and prolific Jerry Robbins of Colonial Radio Theatre.



Show Notes

Find out more about Colonial Radio Theatre...

...and specifically their productions of Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree and The Martian Chronicles. (This link will take you to a page which includes ordering links.)

I also mentioned Bradbury Thirteen, the 1980s series produced by Mike McDonough. The series no longer has an official web presence, but you can find episodes just by Googling. (But don't for one minute believe anyone who tells you the series is "public domain" or "out of copyright". It isn't.)

And I mentioned Peggy Webber's California Artists Radio Theatre, which also no longer has an official eb presence. But you can read my review of one of their Bradbury productions, and this report on CART's production of Leviathan '99.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 11

On this week's new episode of Bradbury 100, I'll be talking about the brand-new Ray Bradbury short story collection Killer, Come Back To Me, published by Hard Case Crime.

My guest on the podcast is the man who put the book together, author and editor Charles Ardai.

All of the stories in the new book have been published before, but a couple of them have only appeared in the academic-press Collected Stories series, and a number of others haven't been reprinted since 1984's A Memory of Murder.

Speaking of A Memory of Murder, I have to point out that this new book is not a reprint of that 1980s collection. It does have some overlap - six of its twenty stories appeared in the earlier book. But this is a carefully curated collection which sets out - as its cover subtitle indicates - to present "the crime stories of Ray Bradbury". Which sounds somewhat definitive. And the collection comes close to being that, since it does contain some of Bradbury's very best work in this field.

A few weeks ago, I published the table of contents of Killer, and I think it's worth displaying it again here:



You'll see that there are some quite familiar stories here - "The Small Assassin" and "Marionettes, Inc." are among those which have been reprinted many times. But by mixing the "classics" with the best of the Memory of Murder stories, Killer is able to strike a good balance between the classic stories and the less familiar ones.


And I'm guessing that some readers will come to this book not specifically because it is Bradbury, but because it is from a well-established publisher of crime fiction.

Anyway, listen to the podcast, and I'll tell you much more about Bradbury's crime fiction, and Charles Ardai will tell us all about the book.

Show Notes

Killer, Come Back To Me is in hardcover in the US. And in the UK, there is a paperback version from HarperCollins:

Order from Amazon US.

Order from Amazon UK.

Visit the website of Hard Case Crime

Learn more about editor/author Charles Ardai.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 10

On this week's Bradbury 100, I talk about Ray Bradbury's long-running TV show, The Ray Bradbury Theatre. And my interview guest is the composer of the theme music for that show, John Massari.

I've often referred to The Ray Bradbury Theatre as Ray's own personal Twilight Zone, and I guess there's some irony in that. Ray did actually write for The Twilight Zone, both the original 1950s/60s version and the 1980s revival. But even if he hadn't written for it, TZ would still have felt quite Bradburyan. There are so many episodes which either take ideas from Bradbury, or situations, or inspiration. And so it shouldn't be too surprising to learn that Bradbury was more than once invited to do his own show. Listen to the podcast, and I'll tell you more about how it came about.

And John Massari - composer for Ray Bradbury Theater and Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Prison Break, to mention just a few - will also let you in on how his music demo ended up being used at the official theme for RBT for the whole seven years. John is pictured below with Ray Bradbury.

Show Notes

Read more about John Massari.

John Massari's music can be found on Soundcloud

You can also find a lot of his work on his Youtube channel.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Staying up to date with the Bradbury 100 podcast

To make it easier for people to discover my Bradbury 100 podcast, you'll periodically see this page, which will gather all the episodes and shows together.


Coming soon (26 September 2020) will be episode 10, with my guest John Massari, the amazing film and TV composer who wrote the theme music for Ray Bradbury Theatre.


And previously on Bradbury 100:

Episode 9 - with scholar Miranda Corcoran, talking about Ray's "Elliott family"

Episode 8  - the second part of my interview with award-winning dramatist Brian Sibley, talking mostly about adapting Bradbury for radio

Episode 7 - with writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, talking mostly about Disney

Episode 6 - continuing my interview with Jonathan R. Eller, Bradbury biographer and scholar

Episode 5 - with Jonathan R. Eller, Bradbury biographer, whose latest book Bradbury Beyond Apollo completes his biographical trilogy

Episode 4 - with photographer Elizabeth Nahum-Albright, who has a current exhibition on Ray Bradbury's house

Episode 3 - with Sandy Petroshius of the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum

Episode 2 - with Jason Aukerman of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies

Episode 1 - with author Steven Paul Leiva, creator of Ray Bradbury Week in Los Angeles


The best way to never miss an episode is to subscribe.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 9

Time for episode 9 of my Bradbury 100 podcast. This week, we look at Ray Bradbury's popular "Elliott family" stories - you know, his characters Cecy, Uncle Einar, Timothy and so on. Ray started writing these stories way back in the 1950s, and returned to them periodically until he eventually wove the stories into a novel, From the Dust Returned (2001).

My guest is Miranda Corcoran, who is co-editor (with Steve Gronert Ellerhoff) of a new book called Exploring the Horror of Supernatural Fiction: Ray Bradbury’s Elliott Family.

Until now, scholars and critics have paid little attention to the Elliotts, but their time has come! This book is from an academic publisher, so the cover price is high. It's the sort of book you need to persuade your local friendly librarian to buy...

Exploring the Horror of Supernatural Fiction : Ray Bradbury’s Elliott Family book cover

Show Notes

Exploring the Horror of Supernatural Fiction: Ray Bradbury’s Elliott Family on Amazon UK, and on Amazon US.

From the Dust Returned on Amazon UK, and on Amazon US.

The Charles Addams connection - how the Elliott family met the Addams Family.

Miranda Corcoran's blog, Miranda the Middle-Aged Witch.

Follow Miranda on Twitter.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 8

Time for another episode of my podcast Bradbury 100. This week, a topic very close to my heart: radio drama. I continue my interview with dramatist Brian Sibley, and we talk mostly about adapting Ray Bradbury for radio.

Brian talks about adapting to different media, and the need for compression (and occasional expansion) of stories in the process. We cover especially The Illustrated Man, "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" and "The Next in Line".

Show Notes

See my list of Bradbury's radio credits.

I've written a number of articles about Ray's work on BBC Radio. Read them here and here.

Brian contributed many scripts to the 1990s BBC series Ray Bradbury's Tales of the Bizarre, which continues to be repeated periodically on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Brian's own Soundcloud channel includes a vast amount of his work, including his episodes of Tales of the Bizarre.

Friday, September 11, 2020