(CCLaP is dedicated to reviewing as many contemporary books as possible, including self-published volumes; click here to learn how to submit your own book for possible review, although be warned that it needs to have been published within the last 18 months to be considered. For the complete list of all books reviewed here, as well as the next books scheduled to be read, click here.)
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
Edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle
I know a number of the people involved with this book, so it wouldn't really be ethically right for me to purport to do an "objective" review of it; but I at least wanted to make a mention of it here at the blog, mostly because it finally came up to the top of my to-read list last week, after first entering way back in July. (July! Shame on me! I am so sorry to all you authors that it's taking me so long to get through your books right now; but we're about to start bringing on additional reviewers soon, so we'll finally be getting that list whittled down to size before too long.) Anyway, this is an anthology of all-new work by some incredibly impressive writers, and edited by genre heroes Sam Weller and Mort Castle, all in honor of the recently passed Ray Bradbury, a Chicago-area native (for those who didn't know) who had one of the most interesting and varied literary careers of the entire Mid-Century Modernist era. And indeed, I think a big reason why it was so easy for Weller and Castle to attract the likes of such heavy hitters as Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Alice Hoffman, Kelly Link, Audrey Niffenegger, Joe Meno, Bonnie Jo Campbell and a lot more is precisely because Bradbury had a career that was so hard to define, a man who dipped his influential toes into horror, science-fiction, crime, Young Adult, even hippie weirdness without ever being trapped in one or another, and I think it's natural for writers to be inspired by this and want to occasionally do some Bradburian walking off the beaten path themselves. It's such a fitting and loving tribute because it's so smart and dense on its own, and Weller and Castle are to be commended for putting together one of the most entertaining compilations I've read in a while. It comes strongly recommended.
Out of 10: N/A