Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

Nominations have been announced for the Nebula Awards, given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which includes the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. (Strictly speaking, the Bradbury Award isn't a Nebula - the winner receives a different type of trophy - but it is balloted for, and given, along with the Nebulas. Shown here is Neil Gaiman's Bradbury Award for a 2011 Dr Who episode.)

Here are the nominees:

Doctor Who: ‘‘The Day of the Doctor’’ (Nick Hurran, director; Steven Moffat, writer) (BBC Wales)
Europa Report (Sebastián Cordero, director; Philip Gelatt, writer) (Start Motion Pictures)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, director; Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, writers) (Warner Bros.)
Her (Spike Jonze, director; Spike Jonze, writer) (Warner Bros.)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, director; Simon Beaufoy & Michael deBruyn, writers) (Lionsgate)
Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro, director; Travis Beacham & Guillermo del Toro, writers) (Warner Bros.)

It will be interesting to see what the SFWA membership makes of this. Gravity would seem to be the natural winner, but my impression is that it has had quite a critical reception among SF types. While the general filmgoing audience might have found it novel, seasoned SF old-timers see Gravity as 1930s or 1940s SF, the kind of story that Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke (or Bradbury) could have bashed out in an afternoon.

Winners will be announced later in the year. Details of all the Nebula nominees can be found on the SFWA website. Previous winners are listed on Wikipedia, here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

Here's a playful poster from a 2000 production in Alabama. Note the tiny acknowledgment along the bottom of the poster which mentions the various artists who inspired this piece - and note also that Bradbury seems to have something of Emperor Ming about him, Alex Raymond-style.

Click the image to enlarge.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ray Bradbury Interview

Here's a little-known interview, taken from a 1988 issue of Atlantis Rising, a PR publication from Atlantis Productions, co-producers of Ray Bradbury Theatre. Bradbury talks about the episodes of the series then in production, including "Gotcha", an unusual episode in which Bradbury created new material set in a fancy-dress party; this new material would evolve into the short story "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair".

Click on the image to embiggen.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

Remember VHS? When collecting a series would require a significant investment in shelving?

Here is an Australian set of sleeves for a VHS release of Ray Bradbury Theatre. Note the appalling number of typos, and the rather free-and-easy way the episode titles have been altered, presumably to save some space (for example "The Haunting of the New" becomes just "The Haunting"). Note also the privileging of familiar names and faces, so that supporting player Leslie Neilsen gets star billing, even though James Coco is the actual star.

As usual, click on the images to embiggen.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

Courtesy of fjp, here's a photo of Ray Bradbury with writer William F. Nolan. Nolan is best known as a novelist, short story writer, biographer and screenwriter. He also produced the first studies of Bradbury's work: the original Ray Bradbury Review and The Ray Bradbury Companion. More recently he put together Nolan on Bradbury, a compilation of his best Bradbury-inspired writings.

(As always, click images to embiggen.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

A couple of Bradbury remembrances which I somehow managed to miss when they first appeared:

Maclean's magazine has a great little overview of the short stories Bradbury wrote for them, including photos of the page layouts from the original appearances in the 1950s:

And from Ontario's TVO website, Thom Ernst's report on a visit to meet Bradbury around 2006, updated as a brief obituary after Ray's passing:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fifty Years Ago Today: "The Jar"

It was fifty years ago today... one of the most popular Ray Bradbury adaptations was aired for the first time: "The Jar" on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Here's a full-page ad for that first broadcast. Click the image to enlarge.

I have blogged about "The Jar" several times before: click here to read more.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

A Hungarian comic-book version of Bradbury's "Usher II".

(Click image to embiggen.)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Friday, February 07, 2014

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

Bradbury's first book from a major publisher, The Martian Chronicles from Doubleday in 1950. That little logo saying "science fiction" was something that Bradbury fought against - not because he was opposed to science fiction, but because he considered The Martian Chronicles to be fantasy rather than SF.

But it was a battle he did not win, and the label continued to stick despite the fact that most of his work was not SF. (Bradbury maintained that Fahrenheit 451 was his only science fiction book, because he considered that it showed a possible world rather than the impossibility of The Martian Chronicles.)

(Click the image to enlarge.)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

A good ticket, apparently not used... "The Anthem Sprinters" is one of Bradbury's Irish plays, a tall tale of men who compete to leave the cinema before the national anthem begins.

Ray Bradbury Miscellanea

My next few blog posts will be simply images - pictures of items of memorabilia, theatre tickets, posters, newspaper ads etc. Most of them will speak for themselves.

To start, here's a British magazine ad from fifty-five years ago. From the list of book titles on the right, and the quotations from famous writers and critics, it should be clear that by the end of the 1950s Bradbury's reputation was well and truly established.

(Click on the picture to enlarge.)