The Lost Bradbury: Forgotten Tales of Ray Bradbury
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Imagine having the power to see briefly into the future, or being able to kill someone through a magic candle. Imagine someone playing war like a childhood game and winning, or going to Mars and yet seeing Earth and people from one's memory.
These characters are from a few of Ray Bradbury's previously uncollected early tales that are gathered in this compilation. In these stories, we get a clear glimpse of the beginnings of this SF master. Mars, even then, is already hostile and unwelcoming to colonizing Earthmen, and yet, at the same time, it is also portrayed as just another planet, with creatures ready to strike back and defend their home.
Bradbury's work, whether science fiction set in space or in Mars, or horror stories and suspense, are always a treat to read. They show psychological depth and sophistication, holding up a mirror to us from which we can see our foibles and strengths, and all the characteristics that make us human.
York Harbour under the stars. And Johnny Choir slept like a teddy-bear all that night…. * * * * The African landing was warm, fast, simple, uneventful. Johnny lugged his equipment in his big easy-swinging hands, found his assigned company truck and the long hot delivery inland from Casablanca began. He sat tallest in his row, facing another row of friends in the rear of the truck. They bounced, jiggled, laughed, smoked, joked all along the way, and it was quite a bit of fun.
twenty feet of me. He merely fired at random, and instantly all the light-things on him went out. Then I—I could see those horrible night beasts rushing in—from all sides—waves of them —” She buried her face in her hands, trying to shut out the memory. “The electro-beam,” Anders said musingly. “Yes, that would do it. You fire one of those pistols, especially at full power, and it sends a slight electric shock all through you. But Skeel would have known that! Why did he do it? If it was to
wearily. “You waited sixty years. You grew old waiting, always alone. And now you’ve become me and you’re still alone in the empty cities.” “Don’t expect my sympathy. You’re like a stranger, off in another country. I can’t be sad. I’m alive when I make these tapes. And you’re alive when you hear them. Both of us, to the other, incomprehensible. Neither can warn the other, even though both respond, one to the other, one automatically, the other warmly and humanly. I’m human now. You’re human
look, it spoils the illusion. There’s only one solution. I’ll populate the town with robots. I guess I’m getting lonely.” The old man said, “Yes. That was your first sign.” “What?” “The first time you admitted you were lonely.” “I’ve experimented with smells. As I walk clown the deserted streets, the smells of bacon and eggs, ham steak, filets, soups, come from the houses. All done with hidden machines. Clever?” “Fantasy. Madness.” “Self-protection, old man.”
display as a symbol of his own life; heaped, jumbled, rusted, forgotten, useless. No point. He stared into the jumble of metal; antique guns, matchlocks, blunderbusses, Lugers, sawed-off shotguns, miniature garter-pistols and a million and one other rusted weapons idling there. “A good gun,” mused Marcott, squinting dark eyes, hunching lean shoulders in his overcoat. “A good aim—a good shot.” But he shook his head. “And the rest of my life in prison. That wouldn’t do. That’s not solving