Monday, August 04, 2008

Short Story Finder

I found some time to update my Short Story Finder. In case you've never used it, I should perhaps explain that it lists every known short story published by Ray Bradbury, then tells you where you can find it. In many cases, the story will show up as being in one of Bradbury's short story collections. In some cases, Bradbury has never collected the story, and the only way of reading it is to trace the original magazine publication, or hope that some anthologist has picked the story up and put it in a book.

(By the way, Bradbury has also written a lot of stories which have never been published anywhere. His basement and/or garage are, legend has it, full of filing cabinets and storage boxes. Every now and again, someone like Donn Albright will find a perfectly good story which has somehow languished in storage for decades. This is partly why Bradbury has been publishing so many new books in the last few years!)

Among Bradbury's earliest published stories were those he put in his own fanzine. Called Futuria Fantasia, it first appeared in Summer 1939, when Bradbury would have been eighteen years old. He produced just four issues, although he began preparation for a fifth. The complete run of Futuria Fantasia was published in a facsimile book last year by Craig Graham (Vagabond Books).

It is from reading these marvellous facsimiles that I realised I should now delete a story from my Short Story Finder.

Some sources (and at this stage, I have lost track of what these sources are/were) list "The Record" as being written by Bradbury with Forrest J Ackerman. Forry (pictured left) is a renowned writer, publisher and collector best known as the creator of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He and Bradbury have been friends since their teens. The facsimile edition of Futuria Fantasia is dedicated to Ackerman.

Well, the evidence from Futuria Fantasia is that "The Record" is NOT a collaboration. It is credited there solely to Ackerman. What's more, it is prefaced by a paragraph written by Bradbury which clearly states its origin as a tale written when Forry was sixteen years old.

So I acknowledge this Ackerman original, and remove any claim that Bradbury wrote any part of it. From today, there will be no record of "The Record" in my short story finder!

I have also - finally - updated the Short Story Finder to include all of the materials gathered together in Match To Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451 - which also gets it own page here.

The companion chapbook, The Dragon Who Ate His Tail, also now has its own page, here.

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