Sunday, February 17, 2008

All Summer in a Day

One of the most asked-about Bradbury stories is "All Summer in a Day". Barely a day goes by without someone posting to the Bradbury message boards enquiring about their vague memory of a short film they were once shown at school.

I was quite amused to discover this web page from the Chicago Tribune about "seasonal affective disorder," which refers to Bradbury's story. The page also has a direct link to the full text of the story.

As for the film, it occasionally appears on YouTube and elsewhere, no doubt without permission of the copyright holders. Its latest appearance is here.

In case you were wondering, the image on the left is the cover of the March 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction which contained the first appearance of "All Summer in a Day".

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fahrenheit 451 - Moscow style. Herman Melville - Bradbury style.

The Moscow Times has published a review of a new Russian stage adaptation of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. It's not clear whether this is a translation of Bradbury's own play, or a completely new adaptation. Read John Freedman's review here.

Subterranean Press, which has produced some excellent limited edition versions of Bradbury books, has announced the first book publication of Moby Dick - Ray Bradbury's original screenplay for the 1956 feature film directed by John Huston. This is an important publication, since it finally gives us a chance to see what Bradbury brought to the adaptation, without the distortions imposed by Huston, Huston's friends, and others such as Orson Welles.

Why does it matter? For at least three reasons. First, Huston grabbed co-script credit from Bradbury, and somehow managed to overturn a Writer's Guild of America ruling on script credit which had gone in Bradbury's favour. Second, because the innovations in Bradbury's version of Moby Dick are so powerful that many of them have been carried over into more recent adaptations of Melville's novel, as if Bradbury's text were superior to Melville's. Third, because (as I have argued elsewhere) Bradbury's experience on the Moby Dick project had a major influence on the next fifty years of his development as a writer: through his Irish stories and plays, his endless wrestling with the Melville tribute Leviathan '99, his novel Green Shadow, White Whale, and much else.