Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales
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For more than sixty years, the imagination of Ray Bradbury has opened doors into remarkable places, ushering us across unexplored territories of the heart and mind while leading us inexorably toward a profound understanding of ourselves and the universe we inhabit. In this landmark volume, America's preeminent storyteller offers us one hundred treasures from a lifetime of words and ideas. The stories within these pages were chosen by Bradbury himself, and span a career that blossomed in the pulp magazines of the early 1940s and continues to flourish in the new millennium. Here are representatives of the legendary author's finest works of short fiction, including many that have not been republished for decades, all forever fresh and vital, evocative and immensely entertaining.
“Taking off!” he screamed. The jolting concussion! The thunder! “The Moon!” he cried, eyes blind, tight. “The meteors!” The silent rush in volcanic light. “Mars. Oh, yes! Mars! Mars!” He fell back, exhausted and panting. His shaking hands came loose of the controls and his head tilted wildly. He sat for a long time, breathing out and in, his heart slowing. Slowly, slowly, he opened his eyes. The junkyard was still there. He sat motionless. He looked at the heaped piles of metal for a minute,
suds fluffing in the spring breeze that he was in a grand humor now, and at the table with him the two other men were doing their best to keep up, but had fallen long behind. On occasion their voices drifted on the wind, and then the small crowd waiting out in the parking lot leaned to hear. What was he saying? and now what? “He just said the shooting was going well.” “What, where?!” “Fool. The film, the film is shooting well.” “Is that the director sitting with him?” “Yes. And the other
stairs like so much flimsy chaff. “Time, mostly, it says, and oldness and memory, lots of things. Dust, and maybe pain. Listen to those beams! Let the wind shift the timber skeleton on a fine fall day, and you truly got time-talk. Burnings and ashes, Bombay snuffs, tomb-yard flowers gone to ghost—” “Boy, colonel,” gasped Charlie, climbing, “you oughta write for Top Notch Story Magazine!” “Did once! Got rejected. Here we are!” And there indeed they were, in a place with no calendar, no months,
Parade, seven tour cars, a fife-and-drum corps, and the mayor, but a mob that grew as it flowed the streets and fell in a tide to inundate the lawn out front of Colonel Stonesteel’s house. The colonel and Charlie were sitting on the front porch, had been sitting there for some hours waiting for the conniption fits to arrive, the storming of the Bastille to occur. Now with dogs going mad and biting boys’ ankles and boys dancing around the fringes of the mob, the colonel gazed down upon the
pen and—there—” She had expected him to stop her, but he was holding his pale brow and looking pained with the ache in his eyes from the drink. She drew a bold line through his poem. Her heart slowed. “Now,” she said, solicitously, “you take the pen, and I’ll help you. Start out with small things and build, like an artist.” His eyes were gray-filmed. “Maybe you’re right, maybe, maybe.” The wind howled outside. “Catch the wind!” she cried, to give him a minor triumph to satisfy his ego.