The good Ray Bradbury stories

I've finished a reading of The Golden Apples of the Sun. There are some good Ray Bradbury stories in this collection, but few or none that I would rank with my RB favorites. Here are some that I may well read again sometime.

"Hail and Farewell" strongly reminded me of Harlan Ellison's "Jeffty Is Five." I won't attempt a detailed discussion of the two stories; I guess offhand the main difference is that one is closer to the boy's point of view in the Bradbury, but more of a much-moved observer in the Ellison. There's room in this world for both stories.

"The Pedestrian" is a short story with affinities with Fahrenheit 451 -- not one to miss, if you know and appreciate the novel.

"The Wilderness" explores an "ordinary" human love in a time of colonization of Mars.

"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" was in the vein of Poe and the original Twilight Zone.

"The Flying Machine" was a bit a la Lord Dunsany's post-mythological stories.

"The Murderer" -- prescient piece about too much electronic communications.

Just about everyone here probably knows and likes "The Foghorn" and "A Sound of Thunder."




According to Bradbury, this story and his involvement with the movie is what earned him the job of creating the screenplay of Moby Dick for John Huston. Old news to most everybody, though, I imagine.
A Sound of Thunder is news to me as Bradbury story, is it strong Bradbury story that deserve to be in this thread ? It seems a bit short.

Im almost totally ignorant about Bradbury adapatations, they are pretty old and they are not played here. Maybe he isnt generic enough thrillers alà Stephen King for Hollywood to reproduce.
"A Sound of Thunder" is, along with "The Fog Horn" and "The Pedestrian" or "There Will Come Soft Rains", considered by many to be one of his greatest short stories. While it may not have created one of the great time-travel paradoxes of sff, it certainly gave it one of its most powerful expressions.
Along with "The Fog Horn," "The Sound of Thunder," "The Veldt," "The Pedestrian," I'd say pretty much everything in The Martian Chronicles and The October Country. Like Nesacat, I would especially call attention to, "Homecoming," which I consider one of the very best 20th century American fantasy short stories that I've read.

Randy M.
It's interesting to compare his two short stories "The Emissary" horror & "Zero Hour" SF.
I'm bringing this thread back to notice -- perhaps some folks who are relatively new to Chrons would like to comment on their favorite Bradbury stories -- or would like to mention a few they could do without. Some of us who have already commented might want to add further thoughts, including, perhaps, some changes of mind about stories on which they have already offered comments.
I would like readers to compile here a list of the Ray Bradbury stories that they really like. I think many of us feel that Bradbury is an uneven writer; some of this stories, perhaps usually early ones, are favorites, while we don't care for some of his others. Hit or miss. (NB By "stories" I mean any of his fiction, including novels.)

Put another way, what would be in our ideal Bradbury collection, drawn from throughout his career? The book may be imagined as a very large one or even as having more than one volume. For convenience' sake, I will refer to this imaginary book (in one or more volumes) as The Essential Ray Bradbury, since I don't think a book of that title actually exists, but that gets across something of what I have in mind. But don't take "essential" too literally, since I want this to be inclusive of lots and lots of favorites.

I'm going to do the easy part first and assume there would be wide agreement that the entire contents of The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Fahrenheit 451 would belong in such a book. However, I don't see the familiar paperback edition of The October Country thus. Some individual stories would make the cut, for sure. But I personally could do without "The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse." Perhaps some commenters will contend for it.

And that's an object of this thread, to get discussion going about individual Bradbury stories too, because I think that when nominations get going, we could have some interesting differences of opinion.

So I'm suggesting two agenda items as this thread begins:

(a) Nominations taken from any of his books -- please specify which book (or one might want to urge inclusion of the entire book), and

(b) nominations of particular stories from The October Country. Sooner or later, though, I hope people will chime in with what they would keep from The Golden Apples of the Sun, A Medicine for Melancholy, etc.

I haven't mentioned Dandelion Wine because... I haven't read it yet!
The brilliant short (three-page or so) "The Dragon" - I think it's in a Penguin Books collection named The Day it Rained Forever if memory serves me correctly. One of the best time-warp tales ever.
"There Will Come Soft Rains" from THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES

I think I was in 7th or 8th grade when I first read that. Later it seemed so odd to cry over a story with no people.

"The Night" in The Collected Stories, Vol. 2: 1943-1944 was new to me, and not utterly flawless but surely very good. It's not sf or fantasy, but a good evocation of summer night and of being a child afraid that your sibling might not be coming home, and of a place you dread in the dark. This story would lend itself to being read by a good reader and recorded for radio broadcast with the lights turned off.
"The Night" in The Collected Stories, Vol. 2: 1943-1944 was new to me, and not utterly flawless but surely very good. It's not sf or fantasy, but a good evocation of summer night and of being a child afraid that your sibling might not be coming home, and of a place you dread in the dark. This story would lend itself to being read by a good reader and recorded for radio broadcast with the lights turned off.

Yes, I first ran across that one when I got my hands on Dark Carnival, and it remains one of my favorites from that first collection. There are others which are related in various ways, which you might find of interest. Have you ever read Dark Carnival, Dale? If not, I would definitely recommend it. Not all of the tales in there are among his best, but there are some very, very fine pieces there, nonetheless.
I haven't read Dark Carnival, JD, but I've checked Contento's list of the stories in that book and see that some of them are in the two Bradbury volumes that I've checked out from the university library.
I read "Perchance to Dream" (aka "Asleep in Armageddon") and "The Wind" in these Collected Stories volumes, and thought they worked with a similar idea, that of a host of spirits looking to absorb an isolated and basically trapped man (on a planetoid; in an old house) and succeeding. This thread is for "the good Ray Bradbury" stories; I wouldn't rate them with his best, but they were competent creepsters.
The Jar is one of my favorites. Anything right up to the 1970s by Bradbury I generally enjoyed.
Here's a nice, very short film about Bradbury's hometown, which has changed a lot since he was a boy...

Ray Bradbury's tale of a new pair of sneakers in Dandelion Wine aka Summer in the Air
may just be the most evocative piece of descriptive writing in the American canon.
Although, I suppose one must be of the pre-Nike generation to fully appreciate it.
My favorite is "The Town Where No One Got Off". Very creepy!
"Frost and Fire" can be found in The Stories of Ray Bradbury (1980). The book you refer to is a two volume paperback reprint. The story is also in R Is for Rocket (1962) and in Classic Stories 1 (1990).
"All Summer in a Day" is a pretty popular one. I always found "The Fire Balloons" and "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" (can't remember original title) to be the most interesting stories in Chrons.

One that reminds me of "Hail and Farewell" is an overlooked gem called "A Scent of Sarsaparilla." Ray Bradbury: A Scent of Sarsaparilla
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Not a fan of the movies based on his works (the Illustrated Man is such a dud) although the story I know best (because we read it in school) was the one with the constant rain and the children who lock up the Earth girl in a closet so she misses the brief period of sun!

The Sound of Thunder is a very clever variation on the idea "big surprises come in little packages."

I think he and John Huston did an admirable job whittling down Moby Dick though!
Cut cut cut.

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