Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Bottles, Vintage Wine...

The long-running audio drama version of The Twilight Zone will shortly feature a dramatisation of "I Sing the Body Electric!", the only episode of the original TV series to be scripted by Ray Bradbury. According to the TZ Radio Drama blog, Dennis Etchison has written the new version to take into account not just the original episode, but some of Bradbury's ideas which didn't make it to screen.

"I Sing..." is actually one of the strangest items in Bradbury's back catalogue. The short story is quite well known - from the eponymous short story collection first published in 1969 - but not many people know that the story first saw light of day as the Twilight Zone episode, which Bradbury scripted c.1960. This puts "I Sing..." in the same category as The Halloween Tree and Something Wicked This Way Comes: a Bradbury media creation which only later became a literary text.

Here's an item to file under "wish I'd been there" heading: on 17 March in Fresno, California, there was a two-day symposium on Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. The event tied in with the Big Read campaign. The event was moderated by writer and academic Howard V. Hendrix, who I met in 2008 at the Eaton Conference where we both presenting papers on Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Fresno seems quite keen on F451...

It looks as if the ghastly cover of The Stories of Ray Bradbury, in print in hardcover from Knopf since 1980, is soon to vanish, replaced by this new cover with the Everyman label. As far as I know, this is all that's changed about the book, apart from (possibly) a new introduction. The publisher's page for this new edition is here.

To tie in with the new edition, the Wall Street Journal has a new interview with Ray.

No comments: