Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Bradbury books

We're in for a spree of new Bradbury material in the next few months.

First to be released will probably be Farewell Summer. This is a sequel of sorts to Bradbury's classic Dandelion Wine. In fact, the two books were originally conceived as one, but Bradbury was persuaded to split it into two...and then took around fifty years to polish the second part. Farewell Summer is out in hardcover in October 2006.

Around the same time, Match to Flame: the Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451 should appear. This is the latest in a series of volumes from Gauntlet Press. It's rather a costly volume, but for the Bradbury completist it will be a must-have. Edited by Bradbury's bibliographer Donn Albright, the book includes essays by Jon Eller which show that Fahrenheit 451 didn't spring fully formed from Bradbury's creative genius, but rather had a long gestation through various precursor short stories. This volume should be a perfect conpanion piece to (and extension of) Eller & Touponce's Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction. The book contains "The Fireman", the short story that developed into Fahrenheit 451, plus a long list of other precursors.

After that should come Somewhere a Band is Playing. I believe that this is another "Green Town" novel, but don't know much else about it. The last information I heard about this wasthat Guantlet Press would be publishing it in 2007.

And finally... according to Bradbury himself in a number of recent interviews, the long-in-development novel version of Leviathan '99 is now with his publishers, and is likely to see publication in 2007. Leviathan '99 is Bradbury's space age version of Moby Dick. Having spent a year adapting MD for the screen, Bradbury was unable to let go of the mythic white whale. In the early 1960s he began the novel, but soon turned it instead into a radio play...and then a stage play... and now it's come full circle and is to appear as a novel.

No comments: