Thursday, January 20, 2022

New Bradbury 100 podcast - Ray Bradbury's OTHER martian stories

In the latest Bradbury 100 podcast episode, I discuss Ray Bradbury's other martian stories - stories set on Mars which are not part of The Martian Chronicles.

These stories have only once been all collected together, and that was in the limited-edition book The Martian Chronicles: The Complete Edition (2009). I've mentioned this book before, and have also mentioned my love-hate relationship with it. On the one hand, the book was a great idea, but on the other hand, it turned out to be far from "complete".

One section of that book is titled "the other martian tales of Ray Bradbury", and is based on a selection of stories originally collated by Marc Scott Zicree, writer of the famous Twilight Zone Companion. Zicree figured out which other Mars-related stories Bradbury wrote, and also dug around in Ray's archives to find any that remained unpublished. Zicree's proposed book didn't happen, but the selection of stories was absorbed into the Complete Edition. Actually, not everything Zicree collated ended up in the book; the editors of the Complete Edition decided to only include stories set on Mars, and to eliminate any that were set elsewhere. A reasonable choice... except not all of The Martian Chronicles is set on Mars... so they hadn't thought it through...

Here's the list of "other Mars stories" used in the so-called Complete Edition, which I work through in the podcast episode (UPDATE: I somehow missed "The Martian Ghosts" of this list - but I've added it now):

  1. The Lonely Ones
  2. The Exiles
  3. The One Who Waits
  4. The Disease
  5. Dead of Summer
  6. The Martian Ghosts
  7. Jemima True
  8. They All Had Grandfathers
  9. The Strawberry Window
  10. Way in the Middle of the Air (included in the "other" section, because the Complete Edition contains a version of The Martian Chronicles which deliberately omits this story)
  11. The Other Foot
  12. The Wheel
  13. The Love Affair
  14. The Marriage
  15. The Visitor
  16. The Lost City of Mars
  17. Holiday
  18. Payment in Full
  19. The Messiah
  20. Night Call, Collect (aka I, Mars)
  21. The Blue Bottle
  22. Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed (aka The Naming of Names)

Anyone who is expecting any major revelations in this list will be disappointed. It is mostly a list of (a) stories which are easily available in Bradbury's other books; (b) unfinished stories; and (c) tiny fragments and bridging material, pages or paragraphs left on the cutting-room floor. The only truly interesting find here is "They All Had Grandfathers".

Please listen to the episode, where I go through the intricacies of these stories, and explain how a couple of the fragments such as "The Wheel" and "The Disease" reveal something of Bradbury's process of assembling The Martian Chronicles. 




Unknown said...

I am trying to find a short story which is a love story about a student and teacher. I had a copy of it but have lost it and can not remember the name. I wanted to share it with some of my students. I have looked online but nothing rings a bell, so when I came across your blog I thought you could definitely help me.

Phil said...

You must be referring to "A Story of Love". You can find it in LONG AFTER MIDNIGHT and in THE STORIES OF RAY BRADBURY.

You can also find it (probably illegally) here:

OldMod67 said...

Really enjoyed this, thank you. I've got the Pleasure To Burn volume and would love a compendium of Martian Tales, but you're right the Complete just isn't what it states (although I'd love one anyway!). Dark They Were And Golden-eyed is a much loved favourite and I often listen to the audio adaptation which I think is superb.
Thanks again for such an addictive series of shows on RB. With some of his books being so-called 'fix-up' novels I was in No way disappointed when buying the two 100 story volumes. The stories I'd read formerly as chapters still work well and although I occasionally read something not quite as strong I don't think Ray has every actually disappointed me. Glad someone is catering to Ray's fans who still crave More information on his fabulous storytelling. Cheers!

David Chadwick said...

That was a great podcast. I've recently read 'Long After Midnight' and as much as I enjoyed 'Blue Bottle' and 'Messiah' it's plain that they're not essential. I suppose 'Messiah' is a religious take on 'The Martian' and very interesting too though not adding a great deal extra. Interestingly, I've just seen 'Solaris.' Really, that's another version of 'The Martian' too! Keep up the good work Phil! With best wishes, David Chadwick.

Phil said...

Thanks for your kind comments, folks!

David: I've always thought of SOLARIS as being a variation on "Mars is Heaven!"/"The Third Expedition"...

JimmyLee67 said...

Hi Phil, I noticed "The Martian Ghosts" is not on the list of the stories included in the Complete Martian Chronicles book. Any reason why? Jimmy Lee in Chicago.

Phil said...

Hi Jimmy Lee. It's what we call: a typo! Somehow I managed to overlook it when I was typing the list. But I've fixed it now...

Thanks for noticing it!