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Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury Paperback – July 10, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ray Bradbury is without a doubt, one of this, or any century’s greatest and most imaginative writers. SHADOW SHOW, a book of truly great stories, is the perfect tribute to America’s master storyteller.” (Stan Lee, legendary comic book writer and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics)

“Great new tales of imagination in the Bradbury tradition.” (Hugh Hefner, publisher and founder of Playboy Enterprises)

“SHADOW SHOW is a treasure-trove for Ray Bradbury enthusiasts as for all readers who are drawn to richly imaginative, deftly plotted, startlingly original and unsettling short fiction.” (--Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times bestselling author)

“This anthology reflects the high imagination, visionary ideas, and fantastic writing that Ray is loved and known for around the world.” (Former public school teacher, librarian, and First Lady Laura Bush)

“Editorial interest and experience converge here to produce an exciting book.” (Booklist (starred review))

From the Author

2012 Bram Stoker Award winner/Superior Achievement in an Anthology
2012 Finalist Shirley Jackson Award
2012 Finalist Audie Award/Excellence in audio production --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Second Printing edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062122681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062122681
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are some really intriguing ideas hidden in these stories. "The Girl in the Funeral Parlor" begs the question: What if you met the love of your life after they had died, and you missed your chance with them? "By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain" is a sweet and sad story of childhood. I loved the innocence of childhood friends Gail and Joel. "Little America" was another favorite, keeping you guessing, trying to sort out just what is going on. However I have to agree with Ray Bradbury's earlier assessment that the story was too short and incomplete. It just left me filled with questions. It opened the door onto a great story without letting me come inside and experience it. It shouldn't have been a short story. It begs to be much bigger.

The editors refer in their introduction to a form of storytelling known as "shadow theater", which is as they state:

"...an art from which this anthology derives its name. Utilizing paper cutouts held between a light source and a translucent screen, shadow puppetry dates back more than two thousand years...And like the fantastic modern myths of Bradbury himself, shadow theater also portrayed fantastic stories of fable and folklore. It's moving figures became shadowy metaphors for ancient myths and modern truths..."

What a perfect way to describe these short stories!

Ironically even though Ray Bradbury just passed away June 5, 2012, this collection includes an introduction by him. He was well aware of this tribute collection and refers to himself as the Papa welcoming all of his children home to the reunion.

My final word: The title of this collection is very apropos. You do have the feeling when you read these stories that you are watching shadows, blurry figures dancing on a paper screen.
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Format: Paperback
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
Sam Weller and Mort Castle, Editors
Trade Paperback
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: July 2012
464 pages
Advance Readers Copy - Uncorrected Proof

Table of Contents
Sam Weller and Mort Castle - Introduction
Ray Bradbury - Second Homecoming
*Neil Gaiman - The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury
*Margaret Atwood - Headlife
Jay Bonansinga - Heavy
*Sam Weller - The Girl In The Funeral Parlor
David Morrell - The Companions
Thomas F. Monteleone - The Exchange
Lee Martin - Cat on a Bad Couch
*Joe Hill - By The Silver Water Of Lake Champlain
*Dan Chaon - Little America
John McNally - The Phone Call
Joe Meno - Young Pilgrims
Robert McCammon - Children Of The Bedtime Machine
*Ramsey Campbell - The Page
Mort Castle - Light
Alice Hoffman - Conjure
John Maclay - Max
Jacqueline Mitchard - Two Of A Kind
Gary Braunbeck - Fat Man And Little Boy
*Bonnie Jo Campbell - The Tattoo
Audrey Niffenegger - Backwards In Seville
* Charles Yu - Earth: (A Gift Shop)
Julia Keller - Hayleigh's Dad
Dave Eggers - Who Knocks?
Bayo Ojikutu - Reservation 2020
Kelly Link - Two Houses
Harlan Ellison - Weariness

One of the most important contributions to literature that Ray Bradbury gave us was NOT his Science Fiction stories. If you're surprised by that statement then you obviously haven't read much Bradbury. While he was mostly a Science Fiction author (The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man) every one of his stories (short or long) is steeped in the emotional values and humanism of his characters.
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Format: Paperback
Some of my fondest memories of reading as a child are of finding collections of short, science fiction stories in the library. Add in my love of Ray Bradbury, and I was excited to add this book to my own bookshelf as an adult! I just finished the last story, though, and I am sorely disappointed. Of the 26 stories, I can recall barely a handful as having been at all noteworthy. Many stories seemed dull, contrived, borrowed (poorly,) and some (in my opinion) were even poorly written. For being a tribute to such an amazing author, I was expecting an overall higher caliber of writing and storytelling. Besides the handful of noteworthy stories, another thing that I did enjoy were the post story commentaries from some of the authors. It made me incredibly happy hearing stories of some of the authors writing to Ray Bradbury as teenagers and actually having meaningful correspondences with him over the years! Overall, though, your time and money would probably be better served finding a collection of short stories from the man himself, or if you're still intrigued, go visit your library for a copy.

Kudos to the following:

Sam Weller - The Girl In The Funeral Parlor
Joe Hill - By The Silver Water Of Lake Champlain
Dan Chaon - Little America
John McNally - The Phone Call
Robert McCammon - Children Of The Bedtime Machine
Mort Castle - Light
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thanks to our recent book chats here, I’ve reread a bit of Ray Bradbury lately, so I was well primed to pick up the 2012 tribute anthology edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, entitled Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, which collects 26 contemporary authors who were asked to write a story inspired or informed by Bradbury. The task was sufficiently non-restrictive that the stories run a gamut of style and type: horror, fantasy, dystopia, science fiction, as well as several with no fantastical element whatsoever, which may surprise those who know Bradbury only through classic novels like Fahrenheit 451 or Something Wicked This Way Comes, or collections such as The Martian Chronicles, R is for Rocket, or The Illustrated Man.

Bradbury, however, was one of the first authors to cross easily between the then more-strict barriers separating genre and literary fiction, publishing in magazines as diverse as Weird Tales, Mademoiselle, and The New Yorker. He was also maybe the most assigned genre author in schools, with stories such as “The Veldt,” “The Pedestrian,” and “All Summer in a Day,” regular mainstays of classroom anthologies, often read alongside the aforementioned novels (I speak from personal knowledge, as I can still visualize the cover of my classroom text in which I read “There Will Come Soft Rains”—a story I immediately fell in love with).

Given his varied publication history, and his ubiquitous presence in the middle school and high school classroom, Weller and Castle may have been more hard pressed to find authors who were not influenced/inspired by Bradbury as opposed to those who were (in a nice bonus feature, each story is followed by a brief anecdote by the author detailing Bradbury’s influence on him/her).
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