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Michele L. Worley
- Publié sur Amazon.com
While these stories are excellent, most don't fit neat pigeonholes within Bradbury's work. Only some are SF. I've discussed them not in order of appearance, but alphabetically.
"The April Witch" - Cecy is plain-faced, 17, and odd - in fact, a witch from a witch family. She can take possession of any creature, live through its experiences - but she wants romance. So lovely Ann Leary finds herself going to the dance with the boy she's not speaking to...(If you're interested in Cecy's family, try _The October Country_ and _From the Dust Returned_.)
"The Big Black and White Game" - Set in 1940s Wisconsin. Once a year, two pickup baseball teams face off on a long summer day, just before the Cakewalk Jamboree, and somehow the white team always wins. But this year...hmm. If this appeals to you, look for other Bradbury stories like "Way Up High in the Middle of the Air".
"Embroidery" - A nuclear test scheduled for five o'clock has the women sitting on a porch worrying over fancywork rather than supper. An interesting parallel is implied, as one woman, having made a mistake early on, rips out the design...
"En La Noche" - Mrs. Navarrez has been grieving at the top of her lungs for days over her husband's departure for the army. The other sleepless adults in the tenement are growing desperate. When Mr. Villanazul comes up with a suggestion, guess who gets to carry it out.
"The Flying Machine" - The emperor of China sees a great wonder in the dawn - a man has built a kite that lets him fly! But the inventor isn't the only far-sighted man in this tale.
"The Fog Horn" - The old lighthouse keeper has told his assistant of many strange things, seen out here on the edge of the sea, to prepare him for these autumn nights when the strangest thing of all appears. One of Bradbury's best.
"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" - Acton just killed Huxley with his bare hands in Huxley's own house. The background of the murder is provided as Acton retraces his actions, trying to remove all traces of his presence. But even obsessive people can't always get everything.
"The Garbage Collector" - He liked his job, until civil defense created procedures for atomic attack.
"The Golden Apples of the Sun" - The ship is heading for the sun, to scoop up some starfire and take it back to Earth. A man may be killed by frost if he fears fire too much...
"The Golden Kite, the Silver Wind" - The mandarin has brought his chief advisor - his daughter - a problem. Kwan-Si has built a wall shaped like a pig - which threatens the mandarin's city, built in the shape of an orange. Each town is built and rebuilt, choosing a shape in response to one another. The final solution is ingenious. If you like this, seek out Barry Hughart's _Bridge of Birds_; Number Ten Ox's native village once had a similar problem. :)
"The Great Fire" - Nobody could quench it, because it was inside cousin Marianne - she's staying until October, and going out on dates every night. Father says he'll have been in the cemetery for about 130 days then...
"The Great Wide World Over There" - Cora, who always wanted adventure, has spent her life in the valley, going to town only twice a year. Illiterate, she can't escape through books. But now her nephew's coming to visit.
"Hail and Fairwell" - Willie looks 12, but he's 43. This isn't a variation on "Jeffty Was Five"; his mind is normal. While he can get by, he can't settle anywhere for long...
"Invisible Boy" - Charlie's staying with Old Lady while his parents are away. But she likes having him around, and sets about using witchcraft to keep him.
"I See You Never" - Mr. Ramirez left Mexico City for San Diego a little over two years ago. He's built a life for himself - a good life, by his lights. His landlady even believes that a good workingman has a right to get drunk once a week if he likes. There's only one problem...
"The Meadow" - That's only what it used to be. Then the movie producer came along, and said, Let there be Paris! Let there be Constantinople! And lo, hundreds of cities came into being. On the outside, it's a movie set. To the night watchman, it knocks the 'real' world into a cocked hat.
"The Murderer" - He's being interviewed by a shrink: the victims are yakking machines: telephones and the like. This used to be SF...
"The Pedestrian" - A companion piece to _Fahrenheit 451_. The writer walks for pleasure every night, so the cops have picked him up as a suspicious character.
"Powerhouse" - The woman, riding with her husband through the desert to her dying mother, never needed religion. During a great storm, they take shelter at a powerhouse in the desert. Bradbury explores the nature of faith and being alone a little, here. A quiet story, but richly textured as most of his work is.
"A Sound of Thunder" - Time Safari, Inc. advertises that if you name the animal, they'll take you hunting. After all, what difference could it possibly make to history - whether a dinosaur died a natural death or from a bullet, a few million years ago?
"Sun and Shadow" - A fashion photographer, trying to use a picturesque cracked wall as a backdrop, encounters Ricardo Reyes, who objects to his neighbourhood's poverty being treated as a stage set. A gem.
"The Wilderness" - Leonora and Janice are facing their last night on Earth. Tomorrow they catch the rocket, to meet their menfolk on Mars.