I don't think anyone has posted about this book, so I thought I would mention it. The latest release (Number 45) in the McSweeney's series is HITCHCOCK AND BRADBURY FISTFIGHT IN HEAVEN, and has a very odd but funny cover of Ray and Alfred Hitchcock slugging it out together, halos overs their head and surrounded by clouds and sky. I laughed when I saw the cover because, while not close friends, Ray and Hitchcock knew and mutually admired each other (Ray worked on the ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS series) and they definitely would not have engaged in a slugfest! The book itself is composed of stories taken from some of the short story anthologies edited by Hitchcock and Ray, such as STORIES NOT FOR THE NERVOUS (Hitchcock) and TIMELESS STORIES FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW (Ray), as well as stories by a few contemporary authors that were considered to be in the same spirit (such as China Mieville). Here is a link to information about the book, including that very interesting cover:
I bought a copy last week, at the only place in Cape Town where you can buy McSweeney's quarterlies.
I paid several body parts for it (a paperback at about 30% more than the hardcover would have cost, had I ordered it online). But to me, there's still a certain magic in actually seeing a book in a bookstore, so I got a bit over-excited and bought it. To be honest, I didn't even look at the price (paid with plastic) and only noticed it later.
My objection is not to the cover, but to the selection of stories. How could they leave out Robert M. Coates's wonderful "The Hour After Westerly"?
Posts: 697 | Location: Cape Town, South Africa | Registered: 29 December 2001
Just ordered it. I agree that the likenesses on the cover are a bit off...okay, maybe more than a bit. The title is referencing Sherman Alexi's "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven." I admit, it's a bit odd in this context, but it is attention-getting.
Really hope that this will open new readers to these types of stories. The first books I really, really got into on my own were science fiction, horror, and fantasy anthologies from that era--specifically the Hitchcock anthologies. Great to see that some of lesser known writers from the time may reach a new audience.
FIRSTS: THE BOOK COLLECTOR'S MAGAZINE, is an excellent magazine devoted to, as its name indicates, books (both rare and the not-so-rare). The current May/June 2020 issue of FIRSTS contains an article, written by the magazine's publisher, covering each of the issues of the McSweeney's magazine. When he came to the Winter 2013 issue of McSweeney's, HITCHCOCK AND BRADBURY FISTFIGHT IN HEAVEN, he called it his "favorite issue" and said, "My only quibble is that if Ray Bradbury wanted to poke a film director in the nose, it would have been John Huston, not Hitchcock." How true!
From the YouTube series called Dark Corners comes "52 Weeks of Hitchcock: Episode 2: Psycho", which is devoted to Hitchcock's great film of the classic novel by Robert Bloch. And at approximately 12 minutes and 41 seconds into the show is a picture of three well-known gentlemen: composer Bernard Herrmann on the right, Hitchcock in the middle and, although not identified in the narration, some guy named Ray Bradbury on the left!