Trying to get the whole baby thing back to a Ray Bradbury relaed discussion here and in one last bit of advice for Sam Weller I am going to do something I never dreamed I would do for as faithful a disciple I have been of Ray Bradbury's work. I am going to commit a sin and recommend not reading a Ray Bradbury story.
Do not, under any circumstances, read "The Small Assasin" while your wife is pregnant (or if you are a pregnant woman) or if you have a new baby.
Can anyone else thing of any extreme circumstances where you might make a similar recommendation. It could be a fun challenging game.
I feel all dirty.
No need to feel all sullied. I agree with you completely. Beyond mere superstition, reading "the Small Assassin" to my wife would be utterly inapprorpriate. Even Ray would agree with this. I've stayed away from the story in the last six and a half months.
One interesting sidenote however. My own father read from "The Illustrated Man" to my mom while she was carrying me. I'm sure "The Veldt" damaged me in unthinkable ways, but I must have been listening in there. I'm two months away from completing my book on Ray Bradbury's life -- something I've been working on since birth!
Thanks for all the advice! I will make sure to be as supportive as possible in the delivery room.
Another to avoid:
(Especially now that dads in the delivery room are the norm) - Tomorrow's Child.
I had just reread it several days before the wonderful arrival was announced, FGI ~ Yahoo!
And I was thinking the same thing about this story as you have now mentioned about S. A.
*Definitely on the "DON'T List" for pre-natal care.
Sam - It is a true miracle to behold. You'll do great. (I cut the umbilical cord for both of my boys.) If a "birthing room" is an option, that is the way to go - vs. an institutional delivery facility. If nothing else ever impresses me again, I will always have these two life changing experiences to cherish.
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 03-17-2004).]
I'm definitely looking forward to the fuition of Sam's biography. I'm nearly drooling!
On Tomorrow's Child . . . I loved it! What I find fascinating is that the parents in that story learn to love the child even though it's in a completely different dimension. A real tribute to the parenting instinct. It's like Keillor's (sp?) claim that "every kid is above average". Parents (in mormative terms) see their own children as precious and beautiful. The neat thing about Tomorrow Child is that, although the child is actually in another dimension, and is a blue pyramid (if I remember correctly), the parents learn to love it like there was nothing "wrong".
I see it as a story about love.
Back to FromGreentown's challenge: all I can think of is... DON'T read "The Scythe" when your lawn needs mowing.
So, Sam, let me get this straight...you have both a new book AND a new baby on the way shortly? Hearty congratulations are in order!
Ray said that "what will the pregnant women of America think?" was one grounds of objection to printing "The Small Assassin." After it was published anyway, he heard from the pregnant women of America. "They were most unhappy." It had no effect on the population, as it appeared the year before the Baby Boom officially started, a time (1946-1964) during which all of Ray's four daughters, and, yes, a lot of his readers, were born! (Does anyone remember which story Ray wrote after his first new baby awoke from what he termed a nightmare--obviously not "The Small Assassin.")
My sisters and I were late baby boomers. Dad wasn't there when I was born. His excuse was that he was at work. He wasn't at work when my sisters were born, but I guess they either didn't let fathers in the delivery room then or he chose not to. Mom did have quite an audience as many of the staff had never seen twins born and were anxious to witness such a miracle.
Dandelion, not sure about that story. He mentions the incident about Susan awakening from the nightmare during an interview about "The Small Assasin" on the Dark Carnival CD but he doesn't mention any other story.
As for the rest of you - now you've done it! I haven't read "Tomorrow's Child" and now I, being human, must give in to curiosity. I'll fill you all in on how it makes me feel.
Don't do it! What will you let out?
RE: "The Small Assassin."
I first read that story when I was 12 and just starting to babysit. It scared the s*** out of me. That was 23 years ago and it still freaks me out.
Is "Tomorrow's Children" the one about the shapes? (I'm trying to ask in a subtle way, so I don't spoil the story, especially if I'm wrong!)
Yes, alternate title "The Shape of Things."
No sacrilege, but a confession. OKAY! I confess to liking "The Twilight Zone" better than "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," even though Ray did several Hitchcocks and only one TZ due largely to what seems to have been a severe aversion to, if not actually a violent dislike of, Rod Serling.
YES! I CONFESS! I CONFESS! I like Rod Serling and I LOVE "The Twilight Zone"! I hang out at the Fifth Dimension website, which is as good as being in a Fan Club! THERE! I SAID IT! AND I WON'T TAKE IT BACK! I only wish there was a way to have my cake and eat it too, that is, like Ray Bradbury AND "The Twilight Zone" and not feel so darn guilty about it. But I guess all of life is just a tradeoff and life is full of compromises.
Relax. It's okay to like two different things even if they conflict with one another. I Love The Twilight Zone and Rod Serling, I have a couple of biographies on him (one is pretty so-so but the other is really good) - there's nothing better. I Love Ray Bradbury and his works - theres nothing better. There's nothing ot feel bad about. What's that website address?
Check out both of these sites: http://www.thetzsite.com and http://www.rodserling.com/
The first one has a message board which I visit religiously. (Okay, I'm there as often as I am here--two, three times a day.) The site used to be better before a certain network whose name I won't say but whose initials are Creeps, Bums, and Screwups screwed it up, but it is still pretty good. The second one has information and some really adorable pictures of Rod, who was truly (and rather inexplicably) gorgeous, considering the rest of his family were only just presentable. Check out him and his parents and brother and see if you agree.
I think I have those same two biographies. Okay, I think they are the ONLY two biographies of Serling--other books out there are more about "The Twilight Zone." I don't know what the point was of that second book. Why do anything at all unless it can be done differently or better, when the first book was done so well and the second book didn't add or improve much?
I was looking at the first book again after talking to Ray (to whom I have yet to dare to mention a Certain Person's name--he must have really hated him if he can still feel resentment all these years later!) One way I can tell I really love Rod is I admire him despite his many flaws and weaknesses, just as I love Ray despite his many perfections and strengths! But I can identify with Rod in ways I can't with Ray.
For instance: Ray says he has not experienced ANY self-doubt, EVER. He's known he was right and everyone else was wrong since the age of nine, which occurred before the Great Depression, which was a long, LONG time ago! He's never needed any outside assurance, which, in an indirect way, was sort of what he was yelling at me about--thinking of showing a work in progress to anyone.
Rod had the opposite problem. He was almost nothing BUT self-doubt, in need of constant assurance. One friend said it ate at Rod so he saw him CRY about it--despite the fact that Rod was a VERY macho, non-crying sort of guy! Rod also never had the problem of showing anyone a work in progress, but mainly because he never gave himself the TIME to finish anything such as a novel--despite talking about writing novels and saying he wanted to! He turned out mostly scripts and other pieces which could be finished very quickly, which he cranked out at a speed nothing short of frightening!
Well, I'm in between these extremes, having seldom achieved the state of "happy creativity" in which Ray dwells (though I think a lot of that came about AFTER his work started achieving success), but not just tormented over it the way Rod was. (Which is good--I can give myself permission to take the TIME to write a novel--which Rod couldn't seem to do--though I might add his brother wrote a couple of successful lengthy works.) I see now I have to work on being able to concentrate on the conviction of what I'm doing and not on assurance from other people. They have BOTH helped me see this very difficult reality!
I can't help feeling as I do about Rod and his work. "Night Gallery" was my favorite show at the time it was on. I was exposed to some of Ray's work at the same age, but I had a clear picture of who Rod was a good three years before I had any concept of Ray! So Rod has "seniority" in that respect. Thing is, ever since I found out about the animosity (twenty years now) I can't stray into Rod territory without feeling I am "cheating" on Ray! At the same time, I feel guilty of disloyalty to Rod for hesitating liking him for reasons which are not my own--if that makes sense. *Sigh.* It's all like some bizarre kinda test. The best phrase I've found for it is "cognitive dissonance."
What's not to like about The Twilight Zone? OK, a few turkeys, but some episodes that are almost more Bradbury than Bradbury! "Walking Distance", for instance.
I used to visit thetzsite.com, but then it disappeared. I was surprised to see it return. What was it that upset CBS? Script material reproduced on the site?
Anyone who wished to enjoy thetzsite as it was (thereby laughing at CBS), simply set your browser to the Internet Time Machine:
Type the URL of tzsite into the "Wayback Machine", and you can travel back in time.
Try it! Everyone, try it! Try it with other URLs. It's cooler than a Toynbee Convector and a Happiness Machine rolled into one!
It occured to me that astronauts, cosmonauts, etc. might not want to be reading "Kaliedoscope," or - dang! which story is the one about the wife and kid who never go out in the day because dad's ship fell into the sun? Is it "The Rocketman?"
Yep. The Rocket Man.
A lot of pathos built into that story. Interestingly, one of the strongest passages I remember was his digging his hands on the dirt in the garden while home. And then his inability to be fully happy in space (because he missed home) or at home (because he missed space).
A great example of how Bradbury focuses on the human side of the "science fiction/fantasy" genre.
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