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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aptly named
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...
Published on July 25, 2012 by nfmgirl

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save your time and your money
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...
Published 17 months ago by M. Shines


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aptly named, July 25, 2012
This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (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. How funny that illusion and allusion are so close in terms, because within these pages they are lovers, blending and melding and becoming one. I happily recommend this book to all fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything Ray Bradbury!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review - Shadow Show - Edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, August 28, 2012
By 
The Alternative (Southeastern Wisconsin) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (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. Ray Bradbury was an evocative writer who posed the "What if?" question better than most and provided provocative answers to those same questions through his characters. Shadow Show, the tribute anthology to celebrate the career of Ray Bradbury, if nothing else, tells us how Ray Bradbury affected his audience. To bring together some of the biggest names in speculative fiction to celebrate the man is a great indication of his affect on some of the most creative writers in the industry.

When paying homage to a literary legend it is common for editors to become overly maudlin or include patronizingly syrupy content. Shadow Show, a tribute to Ray Bradbury, does not fall into the trap of over-sentimentalism and while not all the stories here emulate Mr. Bradbury's style they all were obviously inspired by his writings. In Shadow Show, editors Sam Weller and Mort Castle have assembled short stories from a number of the world's most gifted authors to honor Ray Bradbury and his contribution to the literary world of fiction. Also included is an Introduction in the form of a personal essay "Second Homecoming", written by Ray Bradbury, specifically for the book. Best stories in the anthology: Headlife by Margaret Atwood, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman, Little America by Dan Chaon, Earth: (A Gift Shop) by Charles Yu, and By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain by Joe Hill. A special nod to the Campbell's here, as well. Ramsey Campbell for The Page and Bonnie Jo Campbell for The Tattoo titles that evoke Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man, respectively.

* Denotes my favorite stories in the anthology.
** Advance Readers Copy - Uncorrected Proof from LibraryThing.com Early Readers Program

4 ˝ stars out of 5

The Alternative
Southeast Wisconsin
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save your time and your money, April 15, 2013
This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fitting tribute, July 10, 2012
This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (Paperback)
Paying homage to the late Ray Bradbury, twenty-six authors provide strong short entries honoring the recently deceased superstar whose career spanned decades and many of his works turned into many movies. Mr. Bradbury added a short thank you to his contributing "children" while acknowledging his "true papa" was originally Poe and then Wells and Verne. Neil Gaiman sets the tone with his whimsical "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury" as the narrator knows all the stories but not the name of the author. With a nod to the short story "The Swan", he met her too late as she is "The Girl In The Funeral Parlor" (by Sam Weller). "Something Wicked This Way Comes" to BFFs in "Conjure" by Alice Hoffman. The compilation pays homage to Mr. Bradbury; for instance, Dave Eggers' "Who Kicks" to "A Sound of Thunder"; Bonnie Jo Campbell's "The Tattoo" to "The Illustrated Man"; and Bayo Ojikutu's "Reservation to my personal favorite Bradbury "Fahrenheit 451". This is a fitting tribute to one of the great writers.

Harriet Klausner
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvelous Tribute to a Writer of Marvels, July 10, 2012
By 
J. L. Comeau (Fairfax, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (Paperback)
I can't imagine a more timely tribute to the great master of fantastic fiction than this volume of brand new stories written by top fiction writers. Gauntlet Press and Borderlands Press have teamed up to publish this mind-blowing anthology featuring never before published short stories inspired by Ray Bradbury's work. The editors prepare us for the landmark entries with heartfelt introduction, followed by the master himself, who kicks off the celebration with a humble and succinct essay, citing his own heroes and influences. Turn the page and you will be treated to ALL NEW stories from Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, David Morrell, Thomas F. Monteleone, Joe Hill, Dan Chaon, Robert McCammon, Ramsey Campbell, Alice Hoffman, John Maclay, Gary Braunbeck, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Audrey Niffenegger, Dave Eggers, Kelly Link, Harlan Ellison® (yes, Mr. Ellison has registered his name), and others. The range and breadth of the authors and styles are simply staggering and, although the authors have created stories in their own specific voices, each tale is nuanced and informed by a personally favored work written by Ray Bradbury. Fantasy, horror, science fiction--it's all here! And, as if the stories alone were not stunning enough, each author includes a fascinating explanation of why they have chosen the Bradbury work that influenced their story. This is a dazzling and brilliant homage to an author whose enternal and forward-thinking fiction raced ahead of history, often predicting the future with uncanny accuracy. Rest in peace, Mr. Bradbury.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The astonishing mystery of being a self aware mortal animal, January 11, 2014
This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (Paperback)
I remember being 13 years old in 1957, living in a small town called Woodstock, New York. [About 12 years later (when I would have been about 25 years old, then a few years married and attending graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle) I was rather surprised to hear about a huge concert in Woodstock, NY. “Who knew?” I wondered, thinking back on the very bucolic and isolated little village I had lived in for six months or so.]

Anyway, while I lived in Woodstock, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, which I had started to do from about the age of 10. I purchased (very inexpensively, then) a paperback book called THE OCTOBER COUNTRY by the writer Ray Bradbury, I remember thinking at that time in my life that fall was my favorite time of the year, perhaps because it made the world seem mysterious and that something mysterious and surprising would pop out of the short days and dark nights. As best I can remember, I had already read his book THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES and been very impressed by stories such as “The Will Come Soft Rains,” about an automated house that exists as a (futile) shrine long after the human family has been destroyed by nuclear war. Dystopian fiction is one of the major tropes of science fiction. And, in fact, just as individuals die, as Bradbury died after a long and splendid creative life not that long ago, and at age 70 I know my time will come sooner rather than later, eventually our species will cease to exist, either because we kill ourselves off, or because our sun goes nova, or because the artificial intelligences we create will weary of us and toss us aside. There are many dystopian science fiction novels, ranging from brilliant to terrible, but part of Bradbury's genius was that he could encapsulate the entire sub genre so brilliantly in one perfectly faceted jewel of a short story.

Bradbury's eclectic, wry and humane, sardonic and optimistic writing writing made him a powerful yet unique voice in the imaginary and real world of speculative fiction. Many people are motivated and inspired when they encounter such geniuses. SHADOW SHOW provides a fitting homage by many of Ray's literary “children.” I am down a rung, only able to write a review of his book, but as I read the AMAZON reviews, I think, the near monopoly AMAZON that stands astride the commercial world now is rather something that Ray Bradbury or perhaps Philip K. Dick might have imagined. [Bradbury met Dick once and described him perceptively and poignantly as someone “. . . who didn't like being alive.”]

Obviously, I think, Ray Bradbury enjoyed being alive and encompassed the wonder, joy, sadness, terror, and amazement of being a sapient, mortal self aware animal. To my taste, this anthology provides a suitable tribute to Ray Bradbury. It is very heartwarming that he lived long enough to receive and appreciate it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Autumn readings inspired by Mr. October, September 26, 2012
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This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (Paperback)
With your summer reading stack thinning or exhausted, and with the air turning bright and crisp as the white of an apple, there is no better time to revisit the work of Mr. October himself--or the writing of some of those his work (and life) inspired. For this last, pick up a copy of SHADOW SHOW: ALL NEW STORIES IN CELEBRATION OF RAY BRADBURY. Some of the contributing authors of this anthology I associate with literary journals (for instance Dave Eggers and Bonnie Jo Campbell), and others with genre magazines & good old-fashioned horror (Robert McCammon and Gary Braunbeck), and that is one thing that drew me to this anthology as it was going to publication. Ray Bradbury never split hairs between literary and pulp fiction; good, emotionally-resonant storytelling alone interested him, and he spoke with equal pride of placing stories in Weird Tales as in Harpers.

Some stories directly invoke Mr. October, alluding directly to stories the contributors were particularly fond of. Neil Gaiman's THE MAN WHO FORGOT RAY BRADBURY and Robert McCammon's CHILDREN OF THE BEDTIME MACHINE. In lesser hands, these stories might have devolved into something of a toastmaster's review of Bradbury's greatest hits. But Gaiman and McCammon have both created protagonists of flesh and blood, and you come to identify with them--and with Bradbury as their guardian angel, come to inspire them--and show us what it means to "Live Forever!"

Other stories don't raise Ray Bradbury's name, but each story ends with the contributor's notes about Bradbury's impact on their writing. Mort Castle's LIGHT gives us Marilyn Monroe's considerably darker journey toward artistic immortality, and her relations with mentors of her own. If her mother's obsession with Jean Harlow isn't disturbing enough for you, nor her unhappy marriage with Arthur Miller, then wait till you discover Marilyn Monroe's own comic source of inspiration, which she uses to great effect at an orphans' home: a devastating selection of detail that really brings her to life. As an amateur writer myself, I enjoy finding out about other writers' revision processes. Sometimes those revisions are actually other stories; this is Mr. Castle's third Marilyn Monroe story. In his words, "Perhaps one day I'll get it completely right." Nice to know I'm not the only one that completes a story, only to feel not completely done with it--or that's not done with me. But do yourself a favor, and read at least one other "attempt" as well, or better yet listen to it at Pseudopod.org, where they still have it in their archives.

The stories in this anthology have that emotional honesty that makes stories stick in your mind. The sorrow in stories like Audrey Niffeneggers' BACKWARD IN SEVILLE and Sam Weller's THE GIRL IN THE FUNERAL PARLOR will haunt me through October, and it will take another cup of joe to warm the chill out of my bones after Eggers' harrowing WHO KNOCKS? (suggestion: memorize this short little piece and share it with the kiddies next time you go camping, and just before taking'em out fishing on the lake). Braunbeck's unsettling tale of "mentorship" in FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY was no less disturbing, on a subtler psychological level.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An uneven "masters'" tribute to The MASTER..., April 13, 2014
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This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (Paperback)
Ray Bradbury is America's MASTER of the short story. His novels (451; SOMETHING WICKED) are epic allegories rife with wisdom and moral challenge. It is his vast canon of "short" stories that rank him as truly peerless. Poe may have the "effect"; Updike(occasionally) the "style" but Bradbury is unique, ens sui generis. From startling political fables like "A Sound of Thunder" to hauntingly terrifying, "Dorian in Excelsus", his tales of singular wonder and imagination amaze, terrify and humble. Inventor of the modern fable, he matches Medieval, world master Geoffrey Chaucer(The CANTERBURY TALES/ fabliau) with his poet's command of language, irony, perspicuity and "literary" adventure.
Regarding SHADOW SHOW, however: Much of this comprise of contemporary "masters" is both uneven and (as Ray Bradbury RARELY is) self-indulgent.(Self-indulgence is often, unwittingly evidenced in respective contributing author's afterthoughts entitled, ABOUT...)Overall the anthology is mediocre and surprisingly disappointing. There are stories that do "channel" RB, but are, in my opinion, rare in moment and accomplishment.
My favorite was was PM tale, "The Companions"; a warm and softly ironic story about Guardian Angels. It is the only story that I recall distinctly and truly REMINDS me of Ray Bradbury.
The title, SHADOW SHOW,is more than ironically apt. The stories themselves are...in the main...mere shadows of whom they purport to imitate in tribute (2 & 1/2 stars)...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Homage to Bradbury, September 25, 2012
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This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (Paperback)
Review based on ARC.

It is difficult to rate something written in honor of the eminent Mr. Bradbury. Part of the rating must assuredly originate from the topic. Part of the rating is in the appealability thereof. And part must be from the writing and/or stories themselves.

In Shadow Show, many authors who themselves are worthy of celebration, gather to honor the works, life, and influence of Ray Bradbury. I have only actually read two Bradbury novels, though 'the rest' have been on my wish-list for as long as I can remember. Shadow Show renewed my desire to jump to it and start gathering the Bradbury tomes for my reading pleasure and intellectual enlightenment (according to those featured in Shadow Show ;)).

Some of the novels take a theme in a Bradbury piece and run with it; some are merely written in his honor; still others written in what the author hopes is his style. All of the stories are followed by quick blurbs from the author explaining the impact Bradbury had on them in their lives and/or careers.

I enjoyed the collection as a whole, and, as stated above, I am eager to grace myself with other Bradbury pieces. There were some stories that I loved, some that I liked, and just a couple that I felt were "meh." (For those interested in a story-by-story blurb, please see my blog at [...]) Overall, I highly recommend the collection. Obviously, Bradbury fans will want to partake, but I equally recommend the collection to all readers -- people who love discovering new stories, new worlds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read and a great introduction to SF authors, March 9, 2013
This review is from: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (Paperback)
What do you think of when you hear the name Ray Bradbury? For many people, Bradbury is the stuff of their childhood, the books they secreted away in their book bags, deliciously reading them under covers, complete with flashlight, because it was late and because they just couldn’t put it down.

In Shadow Show, Sam Weller and Mort Castle have compiled stories by several authors who were inspired by Bradbury. Included in this prestigious list are such notables as Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman and Harlan Ellison.

This was such a fun book to read. Not only were the stories excellent, but I really enjoyed the commentary by the authors at the end of their contribution. Some authors explained how the story was influenced by a particular Bradbury writing, or how they were fortunate enough to have developed a relationship with the master himself. Another high point of the book is the discovery of new authors. I enjoy science fiction, but it’s kind of a side line for me. I only pick up SF books every once in awhile. There were several stories that were notable for me in Shadow Show. I especially enjoyed The Companions by David Morrell, Children of the Bedtime Machine by Robert McCammon, and Two of a Kind by Jacquelyn Mitchard. I’ll definitely make a point to read more by those authors. And, I’ll definitely make a point to read more Ray Bradbury. He truly was an amazing author.
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Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury by Mort Castle (Paperback - July 10, 2012)
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