Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Illustrated Man is seventy years old!

Ray Bradbury's seminal short story collection The Illustrated Man is seventy years old. To celebrate, I'm giving an illustrated online talk as part of the University of Wolverhampton's Artsfest. Please join me on 16th November (7pm UK time)!

It's free and open to all, but you have to register. Details here:


Andrew Williamson said...

Thanks for a brilliant talk, Phil. Time passed far too quickly.

It's pure coincidence that I'd read The Stepford Wives (and watched the 1975 film) just a few days before, so being reminded of the premise of Mationettes, Inc. put me in mind of Ira Levin's novel. I know he was looking at that trope from the point-of-view of a fictional backlash to the 70s feminist wave, but I do wonder whether Marionettes was pulling at his sub-conscious.

I'm not quite as disappointed with The Illustrated Man film as you are. It has its faults, and there's no way a single film can serve the book justice, but Rod Steiger was mesmerising. I'd be very interested in a TV series updating the stories in the vein of the recent PKD's Electric Dreams (Channel 4). The Autofac episode was a masterclass in modernising an adaptation.

Anyway, thanks again, and here's to 2023 when you give the Fahrenheit 451 talk.

Best wishes,

Phil said...

Hi Drew,

thanks for your kind comments, and for your tough Ira Levin question. I've mentioned it (and failed to properly answer it) in a follow-up post, here:

MY issue with the Illustrated Man film is that it is so fragmented, and it doesn't really know what to do with the various stories. But it certainly has its moments. Steiger is great in parts, and is physically and psychologically frightening at times.

And yes, there needs to be a new Bradbury anthology, made by people who know how to make such things!

Finally, I see you've worked out my modus operandi: look for big anniversaries and use them as excuses for a talk. (Looks like 2022 will be a quiet year for me... )