Saturday, November 07, 2009

Exclusive: New Martian Chronicles Adaptation

In a world exclusive, I am pleased to reveal that Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is to be given its first complete full-cast audio production.

The Colonial Radio Theatre already has award-winning productions of Something Wicked, Dandelion Wine and The Halloween Tree under its belt, and is now set to embark on a full-length dramatisation of the Chronicles, from a new script by Jerry Robbins.

Jerry says, "I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be able to produce this iconic work. Ray is allowing me to adapt the script for the audio production from his book as I did with The Halloween Tree, and for this I am doubly honored!"

Two of Colonial's earlier productions were audio presentations of Bradbury's own stage plays. Bradbury does already have a stage play of The Martian Chronicles. In my view, though, it is one of Bradbury's weaker adaptations - largely because Bradbury has written a very synopsised, yet highly episodic, adaptation. Bradbury has also written a number of screenplay adaptations over the years, some of which will shortly be published by Subterranean Press.

I asked Jerry what running time he envisages for his new adaptation. His answer I find quite pleasing: "I plan on adapting the entire book, so I'm not sure on the running time yet. I hope to have the script finished mid-December for Ray to read through. At that time I should have a rough idea as to the length. I don't plan on an abridgment of content by any means. If we're going to do Martian Chronicles, we're going to DO Martian Chronicles."

I hope to bring more news on this production as it proceeds, but you can also keep informed on Colonial's work on the Colonial blog.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Becoming Ray Bradbury...and other stories

I hear from Jon Eller at the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies that he finished his book Becoming Ray Bradbury: 1920-1953 in June. It came in at 200,000 words, and is now going through final cuts, down to 150,000 words, as he finalises publication with the University of Illinois Press. The book is a largely biographical influence study of Bradbury's early life and career.

Jon is already at work on the sequel, The World of Ray Bradbury: 1953-1972, and has completed the first 40,000 words of that volume to date.

From previous discussions with Jon - and from preview chapters he kindly allowed me to see - I can report that these new volumes will complement both Sam Weller's 2005 biography of Bradbury, The Bradbury Chronicles, and Eller and Touponce's Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction (2004).

As if he didn't have enough to do, Jon will be whiling away the winter months by finalising the contents for the second volume of the Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, which will cover the 1943-1944 period. The first volume is already with the publishers.