Today I'm part of the TLC blog tour for the new Ray Bradbury inspired anthology Shadow Show edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle. This collection has simply blown me away and I can't recommend it highly enough!
Each contributor, in addition to their story, shares a little piece of their Ray Bradbury history: how he influenced and inspired them and, in some cases, personally encouraged them in their writing. And so I'll share a tiny bit of my own Bradbury memory:
When I was a freshman in high school, I wrote a paper on Ray Bradbury. When I was even younger than that, I can remember staying up super late and catching episodes of Ray Bradbury Theater on tv. Something Wicked This Way Comes was a staple in my childhood movie watching as well and I have my mom's old paperback copy on my bookshelf. I've never read Fahrenheit 451. In fact, I'd say that I've read less than half of Bradbury's accumulated works over my lifetime -- I need to get to reading! -- but The Illustrated Man remains one of my favorite collections and the latest edition holds pride of place on my bedside table, ready at hand for when I need a dose of Ray.
Bradbury has always amazed me. His short stories in particular are fascinating bites of entertainment that astound and entertain readers of all ages, from all walks of life. This collection is proof of that as well. Authors of every genre have come together to pay tribute to Bradbury, bringing to life their own stories inspired by Bradbury's work. Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Alice Hoffman, Dave Eggers and so many more contributed to the collection.
These stories - like Bradbury's - are poignant and beautiful as well as creepy and disturbing. And like Bradbury's work, the stories in Shadow Show range in genre, style, tone, and subject. Some, like Margaret Atwoood's "Headspace" are dark science fiction reads and others, like Thomas F. Monteleone's "The Exchange" are more nostalgic pieces. Each tale serves as a great homage to a fantastic writer who sadly passed away just weeks before the release.
Bradbury's body of work is so vast and wonderful, I really believe -- and truly hope -- that it will survive the test of time, continuing to inspire readers and writers for generations to come. I also hope that works like this one will pique readers' interests and drive, say, a Neil Gaiman fan to seek out The Martian Chronicles, or an Audrey Niffeneger fan to run out and buy a collection with "The Playground" after reading this book.
Whether you come to Shadow Show because you're a Bradbury fan or because you're a fan of one or more of the contributors, it doesn't matter. It's what you walk away with that counts and I think everyone will walk away with a sense of wonderment and a greater appreciation for a writer who has proven to be one of the best of all time.
For more stops on the tour, visit the official TLC tour page here.