Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Year - And More Bradbury

It’s been a year. The night was buried under fog last year when I stepped onto the soapbox and started this speculative fiction blog. This year… no fog… but waiting. Heavy rain and wind earlier this evening as the Witch of November pounded the Wet Coast with her broom yet again, but it’s since paused… the clouds scudding across the sky and a few furtive stars peeking through as the temperature bottoms out amid rumours of snow. A different night to ponder SF.
But some things are the same: I’m in the middle of a Bradbury book. 63 pages into his newest: “Farewell Summer”. This time it’s a gang of boys/Peter Pan wannabe’s waging war against a small Midwestern town’s old men in an effort to keep summer alive. Last year it was the meanderings of a young writer through the fog of Venice, California to solve the mystery of dead men in nearby canals against the backdrop of a dying boardwalk in “Death Is A Lonely Business”. Neither is speculative fiction (although one could argue there is definitely magic in his poetic prose), but we can look the other way because each is chock-full of beautiful imagery capturing all the colliding flavours of life, and because Bradbury, being among the highest in the sci-fi pantheon, is always noteworthy, regardless of the settings or events of his stories. And the funny thing is, it’s purely coincidence that I’m reading Bradbury again on the anniversary of this blog’s launch. I’d picked up a copy of “Farewell Summer” when it hit the shelves not too long ago, but I had to force myself to wait to read it: Hallowe’en was fast approaching and I had to celebrate the season right by reading either “The Halloween Tree” or “From the Dust Returned”. In either case, it would have been folly to pick up “Farewell Summer” so close to reading one of those two, because I would have OD’d on Bradbury and couldn’t have given it a fair reading. A year’s gone by, but I still maintain that Bradbury is like butter. You’ve got to savour him in measured doses that aren’t too close together. So I forced myself to wait and have contented myself with other fare until last night when I finished reading Niven’s classic “Ringworld”. (Yes, I’ll admit it, it was my first time. I should be ashamed for having waited so long, but there’s always been so much good stuff – both old and new – to read, it was hard to make time for it. I know, excuses, excuses. At least I’ve finally made the time and enjoyed every minute of it.) This morning I woke up and thought it was finally time to crack open “Farewell Summer”, knowing that I’d been away from Bradbury long enough to only carry residual fond memories and to be ready for more.
And after a fun year of babbling about SF in books, TV and movies, I’d like to say thanks to all of you who’ve stopped by during your trips through the internet marketplace of ideas. Thanks to all of you for reading these rants. Thanks especially to those of you who have been kind enough to comment (I’d love to hear more comments, opinions, suggestions, and yes, even corrections, from everyone out there, ‘cause that’ll make this site far more interesting than if it’s just me yapping away). Thanks to all the authors, scriptwriters, directors, actors and producers out there who’ve created all of these worlds to make us feel and think, regardless of whether we actually like their creations or not. Thanks to my wife and friends who said, all right, you opinionated geek, it’s time to take your passion online and talk about sci-fi, fantasy and all points between with other people who care about it. Thank you one and all.
Okay, in the words of Mike Myers’ Linda Richman, I’m getting a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic: “The Caves of Steel” were neither caves nor steel. Discuss.
Now that the cheesy sentiment is over… Off we go into another year of SF discussions. Grab your spacesickness bags, folks. Based on some of the stuff I’ve written so far, I know even I’ll need ‘em.

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