Dark Carnival — Where To Find the Stories

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01 April 2019, 07:09 AM
Dark Carnival — Where To Find the Stories
The following was posted on Facebook, but I feel it belongs here as well:

Ray Bradbury's classic first book, DARK CARNIVAL, has been mentioned a number of times on this page. A number of fans have expressed frustration at being unable to find (or afford) DARK CARNIVAL, so I've decided to make a list that shows where else you can find the stories in DARK CARNIVAL, and to what extent they're different from the ones in DC.

The source for almost all this information is THE LIFE OF FICTION (2004), by Jonathan Eller and William F. Touponce, especially p. 84 and the table that follows.

Firstly, there are four stories that appear only in DARK CARNIVAL, and in no other Bradbury book. These are "The Maiden", "Reunion", "Interim", and "The Night Sets".

Of these four, "Reunion", and "Interim" appeared in Weird Tales, in the March and July 1947 issues respectively. You can probably find a scan of these somewhere online if you look hard enough.

Fifteen further stories from DARK CARNIVAL appeared in THE OCTOBER COUNTRY (Ballantine, 1955). I won't mention them all, because they're easy to find for yourself by comparing the two tables of contents. The differences to note are as follows:

"The Emissary", "Jack-in-the-Box", and "Uncle Einar" were completely rewritten. The later versions were in OC.

"The Man Upstairs", "Homecoming", and "The Cistern" are substantially different between the two books. Again, the later versions are in OC.

That leaves nine further stories that appear in both DC and OC. All of them were lightly revised or touched up, with OC containing the revised versions.

But that still leaves twelve stories that are in DC, but not in OC. This is where you can find them:

The Tombstone — light revision in The Small Assassin; also appears in The Toynbee Convector (but I don’t know if this last appearance is revised any further or not. I’m guessing that it probably is, because it was unusual for Ray to revive one of the Dark Carnival stories for one of his regular collections).

The Smiling People — light revision in The Small Assassin; also appears in BRADBURY STORIES (probably not revised any further).

The Traveler — Dark Carnival version available in the 1961 UK paperback edition of The October Country. Look for the Ace UK, NEL, Panther or Grafton imprints. In the UK editions it appears as “The Traveller”.

The Handler — Dark Carnival version available in The Small Assassin.

The Coffin — Appears in THE STORIES OF RAY BRADBURY (state of revision, if any, unknown). It also appears as “Wake for the Living” in A Memory of Murder. Both versions are probably very close to the Dark Carnival version.

Let’s Play “Poison” — Dark Carnival version available in The Small Assassin. Also appears in BRADBURY STORIES, probably with no important differences from the original.

The Night — Dark Carnival version appears in The Small Assassin. It is also in THE STORIES OF RAY BRADBURY, probably with no further important changes. Note that a reworked version of this story appears as a chapter of Dandelion Wine, without a story title.

The Dead Man — Dark Carnival version in The Small Assassin; also appears in BRADBURY STORIES (probably not revised any further).

Lastly, there are of course two minor title changes from DC to OC: "The Homecoming" becomes simply "Homecoming", and "Cistern" becomes "The Cistern".

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