What a superb publication! It arrived "2 days" after I placed my order - very carefully packaged and protected. Art work is great, signed and numbered 407 (I was concerned they had run out after reading comments above).
If some #'ed copies are still available and you did not receive one, maybe a message to Gauntlet would be appropriate. Their site is still stating limited copies available!
I will turn every page carefully as I read this historic collection.
In his newsletter of today's date, publisher Barry Hoffman of Gauntlet Press described how he got permission from Ray Bradbury to publish a limited edition reprint of Ray's first book, DARK CARNIVAL. Here is what Mr. Hoffman had to say on the subject. (And for those not familiar with it, the Gauntlet Press edition of DARK CARNIVAL is a very beautiful book.):
"Ray Bradbury’s 100th birthday is coming up on August 22. In honor of this occasion, I thought I’d share how Gauntlet gained the rights to publish the limited edition of DARK CARNIVAL.
Bradbury was at first reluctant to have the 1947 Arkham House edition expanded and reprinted as a signed limited edition. He had rewritten what he thought were the best stories in the collection for his first mass market collection, THE OCTOBER COUNTRY. So, initially he declined.
Usually when Bradbury says "no" you drop the subject. In certain regards he was very set in his ways (he refused to allow publication of his short stories online, for instance, but that’s a tale for another time). However, after he rejected the idea of a limited of DARK CARNIVAL, a number of his friends spoke to him. They pointed to a particular story in the original and asked if he liked it. He said "yes." Someone else pointed out another tale and he agreed he enjoyed that one, too. I got my foot in the door when I suggested we publish the book in 2000 (if he agreed). He said he preferred 2001.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was his bibliographer Donn Albright’s suggestion to use an oil painting of Ray’s. With that cover idea in mind Ray finally agreed to a 2001 publication of it, with Donn as the editor. Ray’s had one request: that there be no lettering on the front cover to obscure his painting. We readily agreed.
We added four stories that Ray wanted in the original book that had not been included because there was not enough space. And, the fifth story that was eliminated, "Time Intervening," ended up being published as a chapbook, which we gave away for free to anyone who purchased the book from Gauntlet. Ray vowed that once our version was released the book would go back into the "vault," never to be published again.
We’ve published numerous Ray Bradbury titles. DARK CARNIVAL is one I’m really proud of. And, it showed that persistence pays off even when dealing with Ray Bradbury, who rarely changed his mind."
It appears that Gauntlet Press still has a few copies of the book available. (Not cheap, however!) Here is a link to its website:
Publisher Barry Hoffman of Gauntlet Press continued, in his newsletter of today, to discuss his relationship with Ray Bradbury in bringing a number of his books, including previously unpublished works, to readers. Here is what Mr. Hoffman had to say today:
"To commemorate Ray Bradbury’s 100th birthday on August 22nd here’s another observation gleaned from 20+ years working with him.
Some authors complete a short story or novel quickly. Others can take years (even decades) to finish a tale. Bradbury did a little of both. He told my son, when he brought tipsheets to his home to be signed, that he often dreamt of the plot of a short story and, after he awoke, would begin and finish the story in one day. Others took far more time.
Ray was thinking about censorship long before he wrote Fahrenheit-451. He wrote well over a dozen short stories on the subject, fragments of stories never published until Gauntlet’s Match to Flame and novellas on the theme. He published a novella, “The Fireman,” in 1951 and finally felt ready to set his thoughts to a novel, which turned out to be F-451.
His final published novel, Somewhere a Band is Playing, took him fifty years to complete. While it saw a mass market publication our signed limited edition contains fragments he wrote and tossed away (to be saved by his bibliographer Donn Albright). He would turn to other projects but always came back to tinker with this novel.
Lastly, there is Masks, which Bradbury never completed to his satisfaction. He did write a beginning, middle and end, at different times in his career, but never put them altogether. Donn Albright (again!) had the various fragments and put them together into a coherent “novel.” As always he waited for and received Ray’s approval for us to publish the book (as it never saw mass market publication). Included in our edition are fragments that wouldn’t become part of the manuscript that Ray approved for publication as Masks (he did agree to the publication of the fragments in the same book). I don’t know how long he wrote portions of this novel, but he returned to it for well over a decade, unable to completely abandon the story.
To celebrate his 100th birthday I could tell you what a gentleman Ray Bradbury was or discuss the acclaimed writer he was. However, since I’ve done that numerous times I hope these stories I’ve told in the past two newsletters shed some insight into both the man and the author. Happy Birthday, Ray. You’ll never be forgotten."
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