Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Bradbury 100 - April 2021 update

I've produced another brief episode of my audio podcast Bradbury 100, intended to bring you up to date with some things in the Bradbury universe. Listen to the episode below, or through your podcast app.


 

Show Notes

My Bradbury 101 Youtube channel is here.

Orty and Sandy on Ray Bradbury & Comics, and Ray's Waukegan can be viewed here

Listen to Bradbury biographer Jon Eller on Ray and the FBI on the Dead Writer Drama podcast from American Writers Museum.

Listen to Bradbury Center director Jason Aukerman and RBEM's Patrick Mullins on the Nation of Writers podcast from American Writers Museum.


 

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Bradbury (and others) versus John Huston

A well known part of Ray Bradbury lore is the time the author spent working on Moby Dick (1956) with Oscar-winning writer-director John Huston. Bradbury spent less than a year with Huston, yet that brief period had a lasting effect on the rest of Ray's life and career.

The screenplay credit on the film opened doors for him, enabling him to become a screenwriter who had freedom to choose which projects to devote his time to. The historical accident of Huston wanting to work in Ireland (where he had a home) led to Ray falling in love with Dublin and its people, some of whom would turn up as characters in the plays and stories he was inspired to write in the following decades. And the intense engagement with the text of Moby Dick itself led Bradbury to a fascination with the novel's mechanisms and symbolism, a fascination he had to work through for himself in his play, radio play, opera and novella Leviathan '99 - a space-age retelling of Herman Melville's book.

Eventually - about forty years after working with Huston - Bradbury felt compelled to pull together his recollections and his fantasies into a novel: Green Shadows, White Whale. The reader is left wondering how much of the novel to believe. On the one hand, it is a genuinely accurate reminiscence of some of his adventures with Huston, confirmed by third parties who were there at the time. But on the other, there are stories within - such as the ghostly "Banshee" - which can't be anything but the work of a master fantasy writer.



 

Bradbury isn't the only person who felt compelled to put their experiences with Huston on record...

Novelist Peter Viertel fictionalised his adventures in White Hunter, Black Heart, later filmed by Clint Eastwood. It can't be coincidence that the wording and rhythm of Bradbury's title Green Shadows, White Whale matches that of Viertel's.

 


 

Katharine Hepburn, who suffered through Huston's filming of The African Queen, wrote up her experiences in The Making of The African Queen. Bradbury reported that it was Hepburn's book which confirmed that there was a good story to tell of working with Huston.

 


 


But way back before anyone else was writing up accounts of time with Huston, there was Charles Hamblett. He was with Huston in the Canary Islands during the filming of some of the shipboard action of Moby Dick, and found the whole thing so bizarre that he had to write a humorous novel about the whole affair, The Crazy Kill.

 


 


Monday, March 29, 2021

Bradbury 101 - episode 4: The Illustrated Man

 I somehow found time to make another Bradbury 101 Youtube video. This time, it's about The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury's 1951 short story collection.

I've gone with another shock-tactic headline for the video: Ray Bradbury, Stuck in Science Fiction. This is because The Illustrated Man is the book which really landed Bradbury with the label "science fiction writer". Although he'd been writing SF from early in his career, he was pretty much done with the genre by 1951; much of his new fiction from this point was anything but science fiction. Think Dandelion Wine, the Moby Dick screenplay, Something Wicked This Way Comes, etc.

And yet, with two books of (arguably) SF in a row - The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man - he gained both a reputation and a label that he found hard to shake off.

Read more about the book here.

I hope you enjoy this quick run through of the Illustrated Man stories. Let me know if you'd like more of this type of thing!


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Science Fiction 101 - episode 2


Just a quick note that the second episode of my non-Bradbury podcast dropped a few days ago. Science Fiction 101 is a general SF podcast in which Colin Kuskie and I review science fiction books, films, TV and anything else that crosses our radar.

You can pick up episode 2 through your podcast app, or via the Science Fiction 101 blog: https://101sf.blogspot.com/2021/03/its-about-time-episode-2-of-podcast.html


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Bradbury 101 - New Video!

I've just put up another video in my Bradbury 101 Youtube series. In this one I reveal some of the items in my Bradbury collection, all the while protesting that I'm not a collector!

My reasoning - as you will see - is that collectors are much more systematic, exhaustive, thorough and consistent in their collecting. Whereas I will only pick up things that have some specific use for me.

Specifically, I don't go chasing after special editions of books I already have a version of. So, for example, I'm not particularly drawn to those Folio Society editions of Bradbury books.

But what I do go after are one-offs, like It Came From Outer Space - which presents Bradbury's original typescript for that film's treatment.

And I do have a few magazines, including a grand total of three - count 'em, three! - pulp magazines. Watch the video, and I'll show you a couple of them.







Thursday, March 04, 2021

New Podcast: Science Fiction 101!

I'd like to introduce you to a new podcast I've been working on: Science Fiction 101.

It's something of a spin-off from Bradbury 100 (podcast) and Bradbury 101 (Youtube series)... but without the Bradbury specificity. That doesn't mean that Ray is off-limits; on the contrary, he gets mentioned a couple of times in the first episode!

If you already subcribe to Bradbury 100 on your podcast app, you will shortly be served up with the first, sample episode of Science Fiction 101. If you like it, you can then search for it and subscribe separately.

You can also pick up new episodes of Science Fiction 101 directly from  the companion blog, which is here: https://101sf.blogspot.com

And to make it even easier, here's the first episode, right here:

 





Do please let me know what you think of this first episode - and if you have suggestions of what you'd like to hear in future episodes,  please send them my way!

 


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Bradbury 101 - Bradbury's Lost Book

Dark Carnival is something of a lost book. It was Bradbury's first book, published way back in 1947, but allowed - by Bradbury - to go out of print.

In the latest episode of my YouTube series Bradbury 101, I pick some of the best stories from Dark Carnival and explain why and how it became a lost masterpiece.

You can read more about Dark Carnival in my Lockdown Choices series, here. And learn more about the book it evolved into - The October Country - here.

I've also blogged about The Small Assassin, a UK-only book which is something of a bridge between Dark Carnival and The October Country. Read all about it here.

I hope you are enjoying the Youtube series. After you've watched the latest episode, let me know what you think!





Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Bradbury 101 is here!

Last year, Ray Bradbury's centenary, was the year of Bradbury 100 - my audio podcast celebrating his life and works.

This year, I switch to Bradbury 101 - a new series that gets back to basics and offers suggestions of how to get started with Ray Bradbury. The first episode is on Youtube now - see below - and future episodes will include more video episodes and some audio-only podcasts. I'll always post them here, but you can also pick the video episodes up from Youtube and the audio episodes via your existing Bradbury 100 podcast subscription

So without further ado, here's the first episode, in which I give recommendations of how to get started with Ray Bradbury stories, books, films and biography.



 

Here are links for current editions of the various books etc recommended in the video:

The Stories of Ray Bradbury - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Bradbury Stories - Amazon US - Amazon UK

The Illustrated Man - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Fahrenheit 451 book - Amazon US - Amazon UK

The Bradbury Chronicles biography - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Fahrenheit 451 bluray - Amazon US - Amazon UK

The Ray Bradbury Theater DVD  - Amazon US - Amazon UK

 

 

 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Staying up to date with the Bradbury 100 podcast

While most listeners to my podcast Bradbury 100 listen online or via a podcast app, a good few listen to it via YouTube - but I got way behind in keeping the YouTube copies up to date.Oops!

So I've been putting things right this week, with two episodes belatedly added today, and more to follow in the next few days. So if you're one of those YouTube followers who were wondering when Episodes 14-18 had got to, wonder no more.

The YouTube channel, with episodes 1-15 can be found here

And below is my periodic re-post of how to find all the individual episodes with their show notes:


---------------------------------------------------------

 

To make it easier for people to discover my Bradbury 100 podcast, you'll periodically see this page, which will gather all the episodes and shows together.

 

Bonus Video Episode -  video of my public lecture on The Martian Chronicles at seventy

Episode 18 - with science fiction writer and scholar Howard V. Hendrix, on Bradbury's influence and legacy

Episode 17 - with highlights from two centenary events: Bradbury 100 Live and The Martian Chronicles at Seventy

Episode 16 - with writer and friend of Ray, Gregory Miller

Episode 15 - with Emmy-winning actor Bill Oberst Jr, who appears as Ray in a one-person show

Episode 14 - with writer and scholar Jeffrey Kahan on how Bradbury's fiction works

Episode 13 - with storyteller Megan Wells on performing Bradbury's stories and characters

Episode 12 - with writer/director/actor Jerry Robbins, who adapted many Bradbury works for Colonial Radio Theater

Episode 11 - with writer and editor Charles Ardai, who edited the new Bradbury crime story collection Killer, Come Back To Me

Episode 10 - with Ray Bradbury Theatre composer John Massari

Episode 9 - with scholar Miranda Corcoran, talking about Ray's "Elliott family"

Episode 8  - the second part of my interview with award-winning dramatist Brian Sibley, talking mostly about adapting Bradbury for radio

Episode 7 - with writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, talking mostly about Disney

Episode 6 - continuing my interview with Jonathan R. Eller, Bradbury biographer and scholar

Episode 5 - with Jonathan R. Eller, Bradbury biographer, whose latest book Bradbury Beyond Apollo completes his biographical trilogy

Episode 4 - with photographer Elizabeth Nahum-Albright, who has a current exhibition on Ray Bradbury's house

Episode 3 - with Sandy Petroshius of the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum

Episode 2 - with Jason Aukerman of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies

Episode 1 - with author Steven Paul Leiva, creator of Ray Bradbury Week in Los Angeles

 

The best way to never miss an episode is to subscribe.




Friday, January 08, 2021

Coming soon...

Happy New Year!

With 2020 well and truly over, we can say goodbye to Ray Bradbury's centenary year. Although, as I have pointed out previously, you could legitimately say that Ray's centenary year runs from 22 August 2020 through to 22 August 2021...

But let's not confuse matters!

In any case, the centenary-style celebration of Ray can continue. We don't need any excuse for that. And so, with a minor little drum role, I will introduce you to this year's successor to my Bradbury 100 podcast.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome -


 

Bradbury 101 is not simply clicking the year on and saying, "Oh, we're celebrating Ray's 101st year now." No, it is a sort of sister podcast to Bradbury 100. Think of it as "Bradbury for beginners", or "introducing Ray Bradbury".

It's going to be a while before I launch the first episode, but you'll be the first to hear about it here on Bradburymedia. The episodes will be shorter than the Bradbury 100 episodes, more in the way of bite-sized examinations of Ray's work. And it will adopt a more-or-less chronological approach, talking about each of Ray's major works in turn. I think you're going to like it!