Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bradbury 100 - Episode 15 - Happy Halloween!

Halloween - a fine day to celebrate Ray Bradbury!

In today's new episode of my Bradbury 100 podcast, I talk about Ray Bradbury's use of October and Halloween in his fiction and non-fiction. With three October-based books in his body of work (The October Country, Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Halloween Tree), you'd be right to think that Bradbury loved the Autumn months, and claimed Halloween as his favourite holiday.

To match the frightful Halloween theme of the episode, I have as my interviewee this week the Emmy Award-winning actor Bill Oberst Jr, who has been dubbed both the "King of Horror" and the "nice guy of horror". Bill is renowned for his amazing roles in independent horror films, but has also appeared in a broad range of roles in film and TV.

 


But the real reason for speaking to Bill is that he plays the part of Ray Bradbury in his one man show Ray Bradbury: Live Forever!

 


 

 

 

Show Notes

Bill Oberst Jr's website is here: https://www.billoberst.com/

And the website for his remarkable stage show Ray Bradbury: Live Forever is here: https://raybradburyliveforever.com

His achievements are detailed on his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Oberst_Jr.

His extensive credits in film and TV are on his IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994/

And his Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/ActorBillOberstJr/

Finally, Bill's own podcast is the glorious Gothic Goodnight: https://bill-oberst-jr-gothic-goodnight.captivate.fm

 

 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 14

Time for another episode of my podcast Bradbury 100! So far, the series has accumulated around 2000 listens, so we must be doing something right...

My guest this week is Jeffrey Kahan, the writer, scholar and educator. I know Jeffrey from his work on last year's issue of the journal The New Ray Bradbury Review, which he guest-edited. We discuss the journal in the podcast, and you'll find links to it in the show notes down below.

This time next week it will be Halloween - so be prepared for a Halloween-themed episode!

 





 

 

Show Notes

The New Ray Bradbury Review is a journal published by the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. Jeffrey's issue, no. 6, can be ordered via Amazon.

Jeff's books, such as Shakespeare and Superheroes, are also listed on Amazon, on his author page.

His own conversational podcast is Mentors and Roles Models. I even appeared on an episode myself, though I am neither mentor nor role model. If you want to hear more of Jeff & Phil chatting (we talk about Bradbury, plus Harlan Ellison and Robert Bloch), find it here.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 13

If it's Saturday (and it is), it must be time for another episode of my podcast Bradbury 100.

We're up to episode 13, if you can believe it!

This week, a discussion of storytelling and "the oral tradition", which naturally leads me to talk about Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451.

All of which is preamble for my interview with Megan Wells, a professional storyteller. Now, you may have heard me refer to Ray Bradbury as a storyteller, but that's a different thing. Megan stands (or sometimes sits) before an audience and will literally tell them a story. Not read, tell.

In the interview, Megan explains the differences, from the point of view of both the performer and the audience.

 


Show Notes

Megan Wells' website has full details of her repertoire.

You can also follow Megan on her Megan Wells Tells Facebook page.

I wrote a book chapter about Fahrenheit 451 being adapted to different media. It includes a bit more discussion of David Calcutt's radio play.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 12

This week on my podcast Bradbury 100 we take another look at Bradbury on radio - but American radio this time.

Bradbury's radio credits date back to 1946, when Mollé Mystery Theatre dramatised his story "Killer, Come Back To Me". During the 1940s and 1950s Bradbury submitted many stories to radio networks, just as he submitted stories to magazines. Occasionally, a story would sell.

But as Bradbury became better known, with appearances in "slick" magazines and in books, so his stories became sought-after by radio producers. His short stories in particular became regular fare on shows like Suspense and X Minus One.

In the podcast, I talk about various production companies which continued both the tradition of American radio drama and the tradition of adapting Bradbury. My guest is the multi-talented and prolific Jerry Robbins of Colonial Radio Theatre.

 


 



Show Notes

Find out more about Colonial Radio Theatre...

...and specifically their productions of Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree and The Martian Chronicles. (This link will take you to a page which includes ordering links.)

I also mentioned Bradbury Thirteen, the 1980s series produced by Mike McDonough. The series no longer has an official web presence, but you can find episodes just by Googling. (But don't for one minute believe anyone who tells you the series is "public domain" or "out of copyright". It isn't.)

And I mentioned Peggy Webber's California Artists Radio Theatre, which also no longer has an official eb presence. But you can read my review of one of their Bradbury productions, and this report on CART's production of Leviathan '99.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Bradbury 100 - episode 11

On this week's new episode of Bradbury 100, I'll be talking about the brand-new Ray Bradbury short story collection Killer, Come Back To Me, published by Hard Case Crime.

My guest on the podcast is the man who put the book together, author and editor Charles Ardai.

All of the stories in the new book have been published before, but a couple of them have only appeared in the academic-press Collected Stories series, and a number of others haven't been reprinted since 1984's A Memory of Murder.

Speaking of A Memory of Murder, I have to point out that this new book is not a reprint of that 1980s collection. It does have some overlap - six of its twenty stories appeared in the earlier book. But this is a carefully curated collection which sets out - as its cover subtitle indicates - to present "the crime stories of Ray Bradbury". Which sounds somewhat definitive. And the collection comes close to being that, since it does contain some of Bradbury's very best work in this field.

A few weeks ago, I published the table of contents of Killer, and I think it's worth displaying it again here:

 

 

You'll see that there are some quite familiar stories here - "The Small Assassin" and "Marionettes, Inc." are among those which have been reprinted many times. But by mixing the "classics" with the best of the Memory of Murder stories, Killer is able to strike a good balance between the classic stories and the less familiar ones.

 

And I'm guessing that some readers will come to this book not specifically because it is Bradbury, but because it is from a well-established publisher of crime fiction.

Anyway, listen to the podcast, and I'll tell you much more about Bradbury's crime fiction, and Charles Ardai will tell us all about the book.




Show Notes

Killer, Come Back To Me is in hardcover in the US. And in the UK, there is a paperback version from HarperCollins:

Order from Amazon US.

Order from Amazon UK.

Visit the website of Hard Case Crime

Learn more about editor/author Charles Ardai.