So it took me two years to get round to reading Bradbury's 2006 release Farewell Summer. Partly because I had a whole load of other stuff to do, but if truth be told it was also partly because I feared it would be one of his lesser works. It is, after all, the left-over portion of Dandelion Wine, the part the original publisher didn't want.
In fact, I found the book a brisk read, with some interesting elements, but not exactly a classic. Click here to read my review.
Further to my recent post about tidying up my Short Story Finder, I have another item to remove from the Finder. One of the mystery items in there has always been "Affluence of Despair". Someone, somewhere, must once have caused me to think "Affluence" was a short story. Indeed, it was once anthologised in a SFWA Grand Masters book edited by Frederik Pohl - a book I have never laid hands (or eyes) on.
However, friend Eric has seen this book, and he has confirmed that "Affluence of Despair" is not a short story. It is, in fact, an essay. The very same essay is to be found in Bradbury's essay collection Bradbury Speaks.
I have also updated the links to the magazine covers in the Short Story Finder. These point to external websites, in some cases to commercial sites that sell back issues. All the Playboy cover links are now fixed, and I have added cover links for Dime Mystery and The Saturday Evening Post. CAUTION: Those of a delicate disposition should avoid clicking on the Playboy links, as the external site I link to carries random ads of an adult nature. You have been warned!
The Nebula-winning author Sheila Finch (pictured) has just posted a guest blog at the Nebula Awards site where she compares Bradbury's Dandelion Wine to Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood. It's a short article, but gets right to the heart of how Bradbury's prose works.