Years ago, I posted a comment that the ending of "Trapdoor", in its original Omni publication, was different from the ending that appeared in The Toynbee Convector.
But yesterday I noticed that there were in fact THREE different endings!
(1) In the first appearance, an evil presence in the attic grabs the woman, but a year later, after a new family has moved in, children play happily in the attic, and nothing happens. The evil presence appears to have left (Omni).
(2) In the second appearance, the woman is snatched, as before, but in the last sentence of the story we are told that nothing further happened until ten years later, after a new family had moved in. This implies that the evil thing is still there (Toynbee).
(3) Finally, in Bradbury Stories, the woman is still alive at the end of the story, but she can hear ominous noises coming from the attic!
That's three different endings! Am I the only one who has noticed this?
I posted all this on Facebook, but this is where it really belongs.
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Regarding "Trapdoor," the version that appears in BRADBURY STORIES dropped the last page and a half of the story as it appeared in THE TOYNBEE CONVECTOR. I'm convinced that this was a typesetting error that was missed by the proofers, because the version in TB makes much more sense. An error was also made in the BRADBURY STORIES version of "Changeling,"; about 2-3 pages from the middle of the story were dropped. The version of "Changeling" that appears in MARIONETTES, INC includes these 2-3 pages and the story makes much more sense as a result. There may be other errors in BRADBURY STORIES but I haven't read every story in the book since most of them I've read in other collections.
I love what eagle-eyed readers can spot. And whether these changes were intentional or erroneous...well, perhaps only Ray Bradbury himself could say. However, I will note that Ray would on occasion revise or tinker with his work, even after its initial publication, trying to make it more to his liking.
It's true that Ray would sometimes revise his previously published work although he tended to do that less often in his last decade or so. I would be surprised if the specific changes that I noticed were intentional edits because in both cases they made the stories more confusing to read.
douglasSP, I wasn't happy either when I first noticed that those stories were missing whole pages. It particularly ruins "Trapdoor" because the ending in THE TOYNBEE CONVECTOR provides resolution to the story. In BRADBURY STORIES that ending is missing and the story just stops at an awkward place without even a hint of resolution. It reads like an incomplete story, which is why I believe that this was not a change that Ray intended. His revisions usually involved rewriting sentences or paragraphs, but never removing entire pages from a previous version of a story.